Postoperative mortality and complications in patients with and without pre-operative SARS-CoV-2 infection: a service evaluation of 24 million linked records using OpenSAFELY.
McInerney CD., Kotzé A., Bacon S., Cutting JE., Fisher L., Goldacre B., Johnson OA., Kua J., McGuckin D., Mehrkar A., OpenSAFELY Collaborative None., Moonesinghe SR.
Surgical decision-making after SARS-CoV-2 infection is influenced by the presence of comorbidity, infection severity and whether the surgical problem is time-sensitive. Contemporary surgical policy to delay surgery is informed by highly heterogeneous country-specific guidance. We evaluated surgical provision in England during the COVID-19 pandemic to assess real-world practice and whether deferral remains necessary. Using the OpenSAFELY platform, we adapted the COVIDSurg protocol for a service evaluation of surgical procedures that took place within the English NHS from 17 March 2018 to 17 March 2022. We assessed whether hospitals adhered to guidance not to operate on patients within 7 weeks of an indication of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Additional outcomes were postoperative all-cause mortality (30 days, 6 months) and complications (pulmonary, cardiac, cerebrovascular). The exposure was the interval between the most recent indication of SARS-CoV-2 infection and subsequent surgery. In any 6-month window,