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Assessment of the Surgical Apgar Score in a Swedish setting

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Predicting major post-operative complications is an important task for which simple and reliable methods are lacking. A simple scoring system based on intraoperative heart rate, blood pressure and blood loss was recently developed to fill this gap. This system, the Surgical Apgar Score, shows promising results both in terms of validity and in terms of usefulness. The goal of this study was to study both these components in a Scandinavian setting. Methods:

Pre-operative patient characteristics and intraoperative variables were recorded for 224 patients undergoing general and vascular surgery between 26 October and 17 December 2009. Major complications were evaluated during a 30-day follow-up. The relationship between Surgical Apgar Score and major complication was analysed using 2-tests and the relative risk between different scoring patient groups was analysed. Results:

The study showed a strong correlation between the Surgical Apgar Score and major complication (P<0.001). 61.5% of the lowest-scoring patients sustained a major complication compared with only 6.4% in the highest-scoring group. This is equivalent to a relative risk of 7.14 (95% CI: 2.88–17.5, P<0.001). Conclusions:

The Surgical Apgar Score is valid in a Scandinavian setting. We also note that there were no practical issues in collecting the score. Together with patient pre-operative risk, the score has great potential to guide clinicians when making post-operative decisions and give immediate feedback about the surgical procedure. The next step should be to educate surgical staff about the score.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital of Umeå, Umeå, Sweden

Publication date: 01 May 2011

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