The association of pre-operative anaemia with morbidity and mortality after emergency laparotomy.
Boyd-Carson H., Shah A., Sugavanam A., Reid J., Stanworth SJ., Oliver CM.
Pre-operative anaemia is associated with poor outcomes after elective surgery but its relationship with outcomes after emergency surgery is unclear. We analysed National Emergency Laparotomy Audit data from 1 December 2013 to 30 November 2017, excluding laparotomy for haemorrhage. Anaemia was classified as 'mild' 129-110 g.l-1; 'moderate' 109-80 g.l-1; or 'severe' ≤ 79 g.l-1. The primary outcome was 90-day mortality. Secondary outcomes were 30-day mortality, return to theatre and postoperative hospital stay. The primary outcome was available for 86,763 patients, of whom 45,306 (52%) were anaemic. There were 12,667 (15%) deaths at 90 postoperative days and 9246 (11%) deaths at 30 postoperative days. Anaemia was associated with increased 90-day and 30-day mortality, odds ratio (95%CI): mild, 1.15 (1.09-1.21); moderate, 1.44 (1.36-1.52); and severe, 1.42 (1.24-1.63), p < 0.001 for all; mild, 1.07 (1.00-1.12), p = 0.030; moderate, 1.30 (1.21-1.38), p < 0.001; and severe, 1.22 (1.05-1.43), p = 0.010, respectively. All categories of anaemia were associated with prolonged hospital stay, adjusted coefficient (95%CI): mild, 1.31 (1.01-1.62); moderate, 3.41 (3.04-3.77); severe, 2.80 (1.83-3.77), p < 0.001 for all. Moderate and severe anaemia were associated with increased risk of return to the operating theatre, odds ratio (95%CI): moderate 1.13 (1.06-1.21), p < 0.001; and severe 1.23 (1.06-1.43), p = 0.006. Pre-operative anaemia is common in patients undergoing emergency laparotomy and is associated with increased postoperative mortality and morbidity.