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Feb 2012

Surveillance Bias and Postoperative Complication Rates

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health (Ms Rosenberg), and Department of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Dr Haut), Baltimore, Maryland.

Arch Surg. 2012;147(2):199-200. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2011.1490

We read with interest the article by Buchberg et al1 on venous thromboembolic events in patients undergoing colorectal surgery. Venous thromboembolic events are not only a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in surgical patients but also a commonly monitored and publicly reported quality-of-care measure.2 Therefore, it is vital that we effectively and reliably determine whether differential rates of venous thromboembolism and other postoperative complications can be used to inform surgical decision making.

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