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Article
March 10, 1956

ESTIMATION OF OPERATIVE RISK IN 1955

JAMA. 1956;160(10):853-855. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02960450035008
Abstract

• Choledochostomy in the period from 1916 to 1938 had a mortality risk of 16%. The corresponding figure for the period 1948 to 1952 was 2%. Similar declines in mortality risks are found for eight other types of surgical operation.

Earlier figures for operative mortality showed a significant difference between old and young patients. The difference has become insignificant in recent figures because the prognosis for older patients is now so much better.

The degree to which a patient's strength has been undermined by a long period of preoperative stress is difficult to evaluate. It is one important factor in determining operative risk; another factor is the efficiency of the surgical team. The importance of other factors has been so greatly reduced that there is need for reappraisal of surgical mortality rates.

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