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Impact of Nighttime Emergency Surgeries on Patients' Outcome: A Prospective Study.

Background and Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the time of the day the surgery is conducted and its outcome to provide better protection for patients against fatigue-related errors and reduce the incidence of postoperative morbidity/mortality.

Methods: All general surgical emergency operations recorded prospectively on the operation theater database of Krishna Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Karad, between April 01, 2018, and March 31, 2019, were included in this study. The operations were categorized according to whether they commenced during the daytime (08:01-20:00 h), or nighttime (20:01-08:00 h). The type of procedure and grade of the participating surgical personnel were also recorded.

Results: In total, 1128 emergency operations were performed over the study period. The number of emergency procedures performed during the daytime and nighttime was 652 (57.8%) and 476 (42.2%), respectively. Laparotomies and complex vascular procedures collectively accounted for half of all the cases performed after midnight, whereas they represented only 30% of the combined daytime emergency workload. Thirty-two percent ( n = 152) of all nighttime operations were supervised or performed by a consultant surgeon.

Conclusion: When considering a surgical procedure, surgeons must bear in mind that cases that start after the routine hours may face an elevated risk of complications that warrants further evaluation and surgical start times are associated with risk-adjusted patient outcomes.

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