So, do you know your state’s emergency bowel surgery rate? Apparently the rates are widely varied from area to area. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University were surprised to find the differences between emergency and elective abdominal surgery between geographic areas.

Surgery Mortality Rates Higher

911_buttonThe reasons for the concerns about the rates are because the mortality rates for emergency surgeries are much higher than for elective surgeries. Patients and caregivers are obviously are able to plan for elective surgery make it much safer. According to the article, researchers hope to identify the causes of the disparities so that changes can be made to improve patient outcomes for colon surgeries.

States with the highest emergency colon surgery rates include:

  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • Utah
  • New Jersey
  • Montana
  • West Virginia

Those with the lowest emergency surgery rates were:

  • Texas
  • New Mexico
  • Washington
  • South Dakota
  • Kansas
  • Minnesota
  • Wyoming

Is Primary Care Access Essential?

The study looked at over 200,000 patients who had colectomy surgery, either emergently or electively. 59% of the patients had elective surgery while 41% had emergency surgery. Researchers want to examine other risk factors including access to primary care which may determine those who had problems identified earlier and thus more likely to have a planned (and safer) surgical procedure.

I’ll continue to watch this and stories like it so you can be more aware of what influences our patient’s care and outcomes from hospitalization. If you have a story you’d like me to check out, make sure you shoot me an email to and tell me what you’re seeing in the news about patient care that we can share here on the Nursing Show. I look forward to hearing from you!


Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Healthy Work Environments for Nurses, Perfect Jobs and Episode 249.


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