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Invited Commentary
June 15, 2016

The Public Health Crisis in Emergency General Surgery: Who Will Pay the Price and Bear the Burden?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Sibley Memorial Hospital, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Washington, DC
JAMA Surg. 2016;151(6):e160640. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.0640

Costs for emergency general surgery (EGS) currently exceed those of treating diabetes, myocardial infarctions, and new cancer diagnoses.1 What is now a national burden will soon become a crisis, with annual costs projected to reach more than $40 billion by 2060.2 Public health policy has been slow to address this looming catastrophe partly because the concept of “emergency general surgery” has been difficult to characterize and measure.