Indexed on: 21 Aug '13Published on: 21 Aug '13Published in: Hospital practice (1995)
In certain health care systems, patients wait for non-emergency services. Although waiting may not be considered acceptable, the delay may allow for patient optimization, such as giving time for "toxic" agents to be cleared, that could improve outcomes. We sought to determine the relationship between wait times and outcomes in in-hospital patients undergoing urgent coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.A prospectively collected database of consecutive, medically urgent, but clinically stable patients undergoing CABG surgery from 1995 to 2007, was analyzed. A total of 3067 patients with need for urgent CABG surgery with various in-hospital wait times (n = 440, 0-2 days; n = 799, 3-5 days; n = 1317, 6-10 days; n = 511, 11-15 days) were included. There were no differences in mortality, intensive care unit (ICU) or post-surgery hospital length of stay (LOS) among the patient groups. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that wait time was not associated with mortality (P = 0.625). Due to changes in the nonsurgical management of coronary artery disease, a separate analysis of patients, from 2002 to 2007, was also performed to explore contemporary results. In the latter subset, 1495 patients (n = 175, 341, 720, 259, in the same 4 respective wait-time groups) were included; the 0-2 days patient group underwent more blood transfusions (50% vs 38%; P = 0.01), prolonged ventilation (6% vs 2%; P = 0.05), post-operative dialysis (2% vs 0%; P = 0.08), and longer ICU LOS (26 vs 23 hours; P = 0.02) compared with the 3-5 days patient group. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons mortality risk scores of the 0-2 days and 3-5 days groups were the same (1.5%). Multivariate regression analysis revealed that increased wait time was associated with fewer patients requiring blood transfusion (P < 0.05) for CABG surgery.Waiting for in-hospital urgent CABG surgery does not lead to worse patient outcomes and may, in fact, reduce the procedural and medical risks of postoperative blood transfusions, prolonged ventilation, dialysis, and shorten ICU LOS.