Background: Emergency laparoscopy/laparotomy is associated with high levels of mortality. The aim of this study was to determine whether outcomes following emergency laparoscopy/laparotomy in rural and regional South Australian hospitals were comparable to those reported in the National Emergency Laparotomy Audit and Perth Emergency Laparotomy Audit.
Methods: A prospective multicentre audit of patients who undergo emergency laparoscopy/laparotomy. Participating hospitals included Mount Gambier and Districts Health Service, Whyalla Hospital and Riverland General Hospital. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were identical to the National Emergency Laparotomy Audit. A modified dataset for patients was collected if patients were up-transferred to another hospital prior to operative management. Data collected included patient demographics, operative management, adherence to processes of care and outcomes.
Results: Data were collected for a total of 58 cases. Fifty-one of these had emergency laparoscopy/laparotomy in a rural or regional hospital and seven were transferred in the preoperative period. The median Portsmouth-Physiological and Operative Severity Score for the enUmeration of Mortality and Morbidity predicted 30-day post-operative mortality was 3.5%. One hundred percent of patients (51 out of 51) had a consultant anaesthetist and surgeon present in the operating theatre. There were no deaths reported within the 30-day post-operative period.
Conclusion: Outcomes following emergency laparoscopy/laparotomy in rural and regional South Australian hospitals are comparable to those reported in the National Emergency Laparotomy Audit and Perth Emergency Laparotomy Audit.
Keywords: emergency; inter-hospital patient transfer; laparotomy; outcomes; rural.
© 2019 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.