Nigerian Hospital Practice

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Prevalence and reasons for cancellation of elective oral and maxillofacial surgeries in a tertiary hospital

P.E. Egbor, B.E. Edetanlen


Cancellation of elective surgical procedures is a documented source of psychological and emotional distress to patients, family caregivers and the surgeons. Patient- related factors, institutional- related factors, and surgeon- related factors have been implicated as reasons for cancellation. This study aims to provide an institutional baseline prevalence rate and identify causative factors which will inform policy direction of the hospital. Aprospective observational study of cancelled elective oral and maxillofacial surgical cases over a 36 months period (January 2015 to December 2017) was carried out. The reasons for the cancellation were grouped into five categories – facility, administrative, surgeon, anaesthetist, and patient. Thirty one of the 243 elective procedures were cancelled. This represented a prevalence rate of 12.8%. . Facility related category accounted for majority (45.2%) of the causes of case cancellation. Patient related category was the second most implicated cause of cancellation 9/31 (29%). Ten (76.9%) of the thirteen cases cancelled under the facility category were due to shortage of operating time. Four (12.9%) of the cancelled cases were due to inadequate workup of patient by the surgeons. This audit has set the baseline prevalence against which other future studies in our institution can be compared to assess for improvement. The reasons for most cancellations are within the control of the hospital and the concerted and synergistic efforts among the healthcare providers will greatly reduce the high prevalence reported in this study.

Keywords: Elective surgery, cancellation, reasons

AJOL African Journals Online