For the first time, a medical study found that double-booked surgeries put patients at risk for serious complications, including infections and a need for follow-up surgery.
The study looked at more than 90,000 hip operations in hospitals across Ontario, Canada finding that patients whose hip surgeries were performed by surgeons overseeing two operations at once were nearly twice as likely to suffer serious complications as those whose doctors focused on one patient at a time.
“If your surgeon is in multiple places, there’s an increased risk of having a complication,” Dr. Bheeshma Ravi, a hip surgeon in Toronto and lead author of the study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, told the Boston Globe. “I think that just makes sense.”
At least seven other peer-reviewed studies at US hospitals and clinics have found no significant difference in complication rates when operations run concurrently, according to reports.
A study published in November in JAMA Surgery found no difference in complication rates in overlapping neurosurgery cases at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.
Overlapping surgery “can be safely performed if appropriate precautions and patient selection are followed,” the study said.
Concurrent surgery has become a topic of debate following a 2015 Boston Globe Spotlight Team report which revealed a dispute over the practice at Massachusetts General Hospital.
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