Reported in NZ Herald: A report by the Perioperative Mortality Review Committee (POMRC) in New Zealand analyzed data from 2005 to 2009 for four procedures to establish why between 4000 and 5000 patients a year die in the period around having surgery. Data analyzed for four procedures included hip and knee arthroplasty (the surgical repair of a joint), colorectal resection (surgery to remove sections of the large intestine), cataract surgery and anaesthesia. The report found that in many cases the operation itself played no part in the patient’s death.
For hip replacement surgery, 0.24 per cent of patients died within 30 days of admission for elective (routine) operations. For patients admitted as an emergency, usually following a hip fracture, 7.3 per cent died within 30 days of surgery.