A multicentre evaluation of emergency abdominal surgery in South Africa: Results from the GlobalSurg-1 South Africa study

S Afr Med J. 2016 Jan 11;106(2):163-8. doi: 10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i2.10183.


Background: GlobalSurg-1 was a multicentre, international, prospective cohort study conducted to address the global lack of surgical outcomes data. Six South African (SA) hospitals participated in the landmark surgical outcomes study. In this subsequent study, we collated the data from these six local participants and hypothesised that the location of surgery was an independent risk factor for an adverse outcome following emergency intraperitoneal surgery.

Methods: Participating hospitals contributed 30-day outcomes data of consecutive emergency intraperitoneal surgical operations performed during a 2-week period between July and November 2014. The six heterogeneous hospital cohorts were compared by categorical confounders. The primary outcome measure was in-hospital mortality; secondary outcome measures were in-hospital morbidity and length of stay of >14 days. The unadjusted association between hospital and adverse outcome and the univariate association between categorical confounders and adverse outcome were tested. Significant associations were further tested by a multivariate stepwise forward logistic regression model built for each outcome of interest.

Results: Six hospitals (designated 1 - 6) contributed outcomes data for 169 operations. The mean age of the patients was 34.9 years (range 9 - 82), 116 (68.6%) were male, and the majority (37.2%) presented as a result of trauma. Hospital 5 was associated with 76-fold increased odds of in-hospital death and 58-fold increased odds of a major in-hospital complication, and hospital 3 was associated with 3-fold increased odds of any in-hospital complication. The final model predicting in-hospital death had a receiver operating characteristic curve statistic of 0.8892.

Conclusion: The hospital is an independent risk factor for risk-adjusted adverse outcomes following emergency intraperitoneal surgery in SA.