Postoperative mortality among surgical patients with COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic puts perioperative providers and staff at risk of viral exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) during aerosol-generating procedures, particularly in asymptomatic carriers.However, the perioperative risk for adverse outcomes in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients remain uncertain and the topic of debate. The current study was designed to determine the postoperative mortality in COVID-19 patients based on a systematic review and meta-analysis of the global published peer-reviewed literature. Methods: A comprehensive search was conducted in PubMed/Medline; Science direct and LILACS from December 29, 2019, to August15, 2020, without language restriction. All observational studies reporting the prevalence of mortality were included while case reports and reviews were excluded. The data from each study were extracted with two independent authors with a customized format excel sheet and the disagreements were resolved by the third author. The methodological quality of included studies was evaluated using a standardized critical appraisal Tool adapted from the Joanna Briggs Institute. Results: A total of 715 articles were identified from different databases and 45 articles were selected for evaluation after the successive screening. Twenty-three articles with 2947 participants were included. The meta-analysis revealed a very high global rate of postoperative mortality among COVID-19 patients of 20% (95% CI: 15 to 26) and a postoperative ICU admission rate of 15% (95% confidence interval (CI):10 to 21). Conclusion: The unexpected high postoperative mortality rate in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients of 20% in the global literature mandates further scrutiny in assuring appropriate surgical indications and perioperative surgical safety measures in this vulnerable cohort of patients. Registration: This systematic review and meta-analysis was registered in Prospero's international prospective register of systematic reviews (CRD42020203362) on August 10, 2020.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPatient Safety in Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 12 Oct 2020

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