Emergency laparotomy in older adults with geriatric medicine input implications of demographics, frailty and comorbidities on outcomes

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Abstract

Background: We (1) describe West Australian (WA) older adults undergoing emergency laparotomy (EL) in a tertiary-centre Acute Surgical Unit (ASU) with proactive geriatrician input and (2) explore the impact of Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) and Charlson's Comorbidity Index (CCI) on patient outcomes. Methods: We performed a prospective cohort-study of older adults undergoing EL, between April 2021 and April 2022, in a tertiary ASU, with dedicated geriatrician-led perioperative care via the Older Adult Surgical Inpatient Service (OASIS). Results: Of 114 patients, average age was 76.7 ± 7.61 years-old (range 65–96), with 35.1% (n = 40) frail (CFS 5–7), 18.4% (n = 21) vulnerable (CFS 4) and 46.5% (n = 74) not frail (CFS 1–3). 61.4% (n = 70) were severely comorbid (CCI ≥5), 34.2% (n = 39) moderately comorbid (CCI 3–4), and 4.4% (n = 5) mildly comorbid (CCI 1–2). 95.9% (n = 109) EL patients were reviewed by OASIS. Inpatient mortality was 7.9% (n = 9) and 1-year mortality 16.7% (n = 19). Majority, 64.9% (n = 74), were discharged directly home with 17.5% (n = 20) discharged with in-home rehabilitation. Each increment in CCI was associated with increased in-hospital (HR 1.38, p = 0.034) and 1-year (HR 1.39, p = 0.006) mortality, and each increment in CFS with 1-year mortality (HR 1.62, p = 0.016). Higher CFS but not CCI was associated with increased level of care at discharge. Age was not statistically significant with any outcomes. Conclusion: We describe demographics, frailty and comorbidity of 114 older adults undergoing EL in ASU. We suggest CFS and CCI as independent risk-stratification tools, and proactive management of both comorbidity, and frailty, should be incorporated into preoperative optimisation.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jun 2024

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