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The purpose of this study is to establish the incidence of perioperative complications in asthmatic patients treated with preoperative corticosteroids and to compare these rates to the general surgical population at the same hospital. Using a retrospective cohort design, we studied 172 patients who underwent 249 procedures at our hospital between 1986 and 2002. Preoperative corticosteroids were administered in 240 of the procedures. The rate of asthma exacerbations, infections, wound infections, delayed wound healing, adrenocortical insufficiency, and mortality was assessed. Thirteen patients (5.2%) developed postoperative bronchospasm. Nine (3.6%) developed postoperative infections, four of which were wound infections (1.6%). There were no patients with adrenal insufficiency. One death occurred intraoperatively as a result of a neurosurgical complication. There was no statistical difference in the incidence of infections between our asthma population and the general surgical population in the same hospital except in gynecologic procedures. We conclude that asthmatic patients who are treated with corticosteroids before under-going surgery have a low incidence of complications.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 2004
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