The ASOS Surgical Risk Calculator: development and validation of a tool for identifying African surgical patients at risk of severe postoperative complications

Br J Anaesth. 2018 Dec;121(6):1357-1363. doi: 10.1016/j.bja.2018.08.005. Epub 2018 Sep 17.


Background: The African Surgical Outcomes Study (ASOS) showed that surgical patients in Africa have a mortality twice the global average. Existing risk assessment tools are not valid for use in this population because the pattern of risk for poor outcomes differs from high-income countries. The objective of this study was to derive and validate a simple, preoperative risk stratification tool to identify African surgical patients at risk for in-hospital postoperative mortality and severe complications.

Methods: ASOS was a 7-day prospective cohort study of adult patients undergoing surgery in Africa. The ASOS Surgical Risk Calculator was constructed with a multivariable logistic regression model for the outcome of in-hospital mortality and severe postoperative complications. The following preoperative risk factors were entered into the model; age, sex, smoking status, ASA physical status, preoperative chronic comorbid conditions, indication for surgery, urgency, severity, and type of surgery.

Results: The model was derived from 8799 patients from 168 African hospitals. The composite outcome of severe postoperative complications and death occurred in 423/8799 (4.8%) patients. The ASOS Surgical Risk Calculator includes the following risk factors: age, ASA physical status, indication for surgery, urgency, severity, and type of surgery. The model showed good discrimination with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.805 and good calibration with c-statistic corrected for optimism of 0.784.

Conclusions: This simple preoperative risk calculator could be used to identify high-risk surgical patients in African hospitals and facilitate increased postoperative surveillance.

Clinical trial registration: NCT03044899.

Keywords: mortality; preoperative; risk assessment; risk stratification; surgery.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Africa
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Outcome Assessment*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Risk
  • Young Adult

Associated data