Post-Surgery Deaths Surpass Those From HIV, TB, and Malaria Combined

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Worldwide, more than 4 million people die within 30 days after surgery each year, according to a study from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, published in The Lancet. Together, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), tuberculosis (TB), and malaria cause nearly 3 million deaths per year.

An estimated 313 million surgical procedures are performed worldwide each year, but accurate postoperative death rates are available in just 29 countries. According to the researchers, about half of all post-surgery deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries — areas that have significantly lower surgical rates. They estimate that if everyone who needed surgery in these areas was able to get it, more than 6 million postoperative deaths would occur every year.

About 7.7 percent of all global deaths occur within 30 days post-op. While not all of these deaths can be prevented, improvements in research, medical staff training, surgical and post-op equipment, and hospital facilities could help reduce the number of deaths, the researchers say.

Sourced from: The Lancet