Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Research Study of the Day: Postoperative Outcomes Worse in COPD Patients

Internal Medicine News reports that a paper recently presented at the American College of Chest Physicians annual meeting found that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] fared much worse after all types of surgery than patients who did not have COPD. The authors reviewed outcomes of over 468,000 patients in a clinical database, 5% of whom had COPD. Not surprisingly, the COPD patients had significantly longer hospital lengths of stay and higher rates of complications and mortality.

The database contained no information about how the COPD patients were managed in preparation for their operations. Thus, the authors could not recommend any specific advice on how to limit the adverse outcomes.

Meaning no disrespect to the authors of this study and knowing how hard it sometimes can be to think of ideas for research, I wonder what they expected to find. Is there anyone who would not surmise that patients who have a major medical illness such as COPD would do worse than those who are not?

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