July 19, 1971

Medical News

JAMA. 1971;217(3):269-278. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190030005003

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Study documents surgical risks for heart patients  Patients with a history of myocardial infarction are in some danger of a second infarction after general anesthesia, a group of investigators from the Mayo Clinic told the Section on Anesthesiology.The investigators—Sait Tarhan, MD, Emerson A. Moffitt, MD, William Taylor, PhD, and Emilio R. Giuliani, MD,—said their retrospective study of 32,877 patients suggests the danger of a postoperative infarction is greatest on the third day after surgery. They also suggested that patients with a history of myocardial infarction should be closely monitored after surgery and that elective surgery in such cases should be postponed whenever possible until at least six months have elapsed since the patient's previous heart attack.The patients in the study were at least 30 years old and had general anesthesia and surgery at the Mayo Clinic in 1967 and 1968. (Patients who had surgery were excluded from