The Risk Of Waiting Up To One Year For Cardiac Surgery

Authors

  • Márcio Madeira Cardiothoracic department, Santa Cruz Hospital, Portugal
  • Jose Neves Cardiothoracic department, Santa Cruz Hospital, Portugal image/svg+xml
  • Tiago Nolasco Cardiothoracic department, Santa Cruz Hospital, Portugal
  • Marta Marques Cardiothoracic department, Santa Cruz Hospital, Portugal
  • Miguel Abecasis Cardiothoracic department, Santa Cruz Hospital, Portugal
  • Miguel Sousa-Uva Cardiothoracic department, Santa Cruz Hospital, Portugal

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.48729/pjctvs.422

Keywords:

Surgery Waiting List, Heart Surgery, Coronary Artery Bypass, Patient Care Management, Health Services Accessibility, COVID-19, Valve Surgery

Abstract

Introduction: Cardiac disease is associated with a risk of death, both by the cardiac condition and by comorbidities. The waiting time for surgery begins with the onset of symptoms and includes referral, completion of the diagnosis and surgical waiting list (SWL). This study was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected surgical capacity and patients’ morbidities.
Methods: The cohort includes 1914 consecutive adult patients (36.6% women, mean age 67 ±11 years), prospectively registered in the official SWL from January 2019 to December 2021. We analyzed waiting times ranging from 4 days to one year to exclude urgencies and outliers. Priority was classified by the national criteria for non-oncologic or oncology surgery.
Results: During the study period, 74% of patients underwent surgery, 19.2% were still waiting, and 4.3% dropped out. Most cases were valvular (41.2%) or isolated bypass procedures (34.2%). Patients were classified as non-priority in 29.7%, priority in 61.8%, and high priority in 8.6%, with significantly different SWL mean times between groups (p<0.001). The overall mean waiting time was 167 ± 135 days. Mortality on SWL was 2.5%, or 1.1 deaths per patient/weeks. There were two mortality independent predictors: age (HR 1.05) and the year 2021 versus 2019 (HR 2.07) and a trend toward higher mortality in priority patients versus non-priority (p=0.065). The overall risk increased with time with different slopes for each year. Using the time limits for SWL in oncology, there would have been a significant risk reduction (p=0.011).
Conclusion: The increased risk observed in 2021 may be related to the pandemic, either by increasing waiting time or by direct mortality. Since risk stratification is not entirely accurate, waiting time emerges as the most crucial factor influencing mortality, and implementing stricter time limits could have led to lower mortality rates.

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References

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Published

13-05-2024

How to Cite

1.
Madeira M, Neves J, Nolasco T, Marques M, Abecasis M, Sousa-Uva M. The Risk Of Waiting Up To One Year For Cardiac Surgery. Rev Port Cir Cardiotorac Vasc [Internet]. 2024 May 13 [cited 2024 May 21];31(1):17-22. Available from: https://pjctvs.com/index.php/journal/article/view/422

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