Chances of death after surgery in Africa double the global figure

The chances of a patient’s death in surgeries conducted in Africa are twice that globally, even though the surgeries were relatively minor and the patients were younger and healthier, a new study has said.

The study by researchers at the University of Cape Town which analysed data from 25 countries found that 2.1% of those who underwent any surgery, and 1% of those who had elective surgery in Africa, died in hospital within 30 days of their operation.

Over 18% of all patients developed complications, most of them preventable. It ranged from stroke to pneumonia and one in 10 of them died, the study found.

data during one week of their choosing between February and May 2016, although data on complications and death were not available for every patient.

While the continent conducted a lower number of surgeries, less than 43% of them were elective. A third of them were caesarean deliveries.

The study did not cover about 14 African countries, and the authors say that those, which were under conflict or having few doctors, might have had worse surgical outcomes.

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