Chennai: More than 42 lakh people who undergo surgeries globally, die around die within 30 days of surgery, says a recent study published in a research letter in The Lancet journal. The numbers are very high in comparison to the number of deaths around the world due to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria combined that adds up to 29.7 lakh.
The analysis revealed that around 50 percent of post-operative deaths occur in low and middle-income countries, considering the unmet need for surgery in these countries.
However, researchers at the University of Birmingham in the UK believe that if all the patients who need surgical procedures were provided with the same, the total number of global post-operative deaths would surge to 61 lakhs.
It is estimated that around 4.8 crore people worldwide lack timely access to safe and affordable surgery with an annual unmet need for 1,430 lakh procedures in low and middle income countries.
The records of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery state that more than 3,130 lakh surgeries are performed globally every year, but the quality of life post surgery is not assessed mostly. To analyse post-operative deaths around the world, researchers took various factors such as surgical volume, case-mix and post-operative death rates adjusted for country income.
Researchers of the study at the University of Birmingham said that more investment should be put into surgical procedures as part of global health, which is otherwise only a fraction of the investment put in to treat infectious diseases such as malaria.
Medicos say that although not all postoperative deaths are avoidable, increasing investment in research, staff training, equipment, and better hospital facilities can prevent many such deaths.
The study highlights that though healthcare practitioners emphasise on increasing access to surgery around the world, there is an urgent need for research to improve the quality and safety of surgery to render better quality of life.