Postoperative sepsis in the United States.
The safety of patients undergoing surgery can be dramatically improved through use of checklists, as demonstrated in recent landmark studies. While existing checklists mainly focus on the perioperative period, other studies have found wide variations in postoperative mortality rates across hospitals. This variation is, in part, thought to be due to failure to rescue—delays in recognition and treatment of complications such as septic shock (overwhelming infections). This analysis of more than 6 million inpatient surgeries identified risk factors for the development of postoperative sepsis, including procedure-specific, patient-specific, and hospital-specific factors. A comprehensive surgical care pathway has been shown to decrease both complications and postoperative mortality.