Ebirim L.N, Buowari D.Y and Ezike H.A
Cancellation of elective surgery is a significant p roblem in many hospitals in that it may lead to dissatisfaction of patients, increased costs and pr olonged patient stay in hospital. It also reflects inefficiency in the management of the operating the atre. This study was conducted to determine the rate and causes of cancellation of elective surgica l procedures at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and the aim was to suggest change s that can reduce such cancellations. Patients scheduled for elective surgeries from February 2011 through July 2011 were prospectively enrolled in this audit. Data were collected for operations not carried out on the scheduled dates. Information collected included patients’ age, gender, surgical diagnosis, surgical procedure proposed, surgical specialty as well as the reasons for cancellation. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Two hundred and eighty four (28%) of th e 1015 elective surgical procedures were cancelled for various reasons. The two most frequent reasons for cancellation were insufficient theatre time (24.30%) and failure of booked patients to show up on the day of surgery (21.13%). Other important reasons for cancellation were: uncontrolled medical illness, abnormal laboratory investigation results and failure of patients to pay for surgery. The ca ncellation rate for elective surgical operations in this study was very high. Insufficient theatre time and failure of booked patients to show up on the day of surgery were the most frequent reasons found. Thes e and the other causes should be addressed to avoid most cancellations of elective surgical opera tions.
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