Arshad Zafar, Tariq Saeed Mufti, Samson Griffin, Sajjad Ahmed, Johar Ali Ansari


Background: Cancellation of operations in hospitals is a significant problem with far reaching
consequences. This study was planned to evaluate reasons for cancellation of elective surgical
operation on the day of surgery in Ayub Teaching Hospital, Abbottabad. Methods: From July
2006 to June 2007 the medical records of all the patients who had their operations cancelled on
the day of surgery in all the three General Surgical units of Ayub Teaching Hospital, Abbottabad
were audited prospectively. The number of operation cancelled and reasons for cancellations
were documented. Results: 3756 patients were scheduled for surgery during the study period.
2820(75%) patients were operated upon. 936 (25%) operations were cancelled out of which
338(36%) were cancelled due to shortage of time, 296(31.6%) were cancelled due to medical
reasons, 152(16.2%) were cancelled due to shortage of beds while 55(5.8%) were cancelled due
to shortage of anaesthetists. Three operation lists were lost completely. The Anaesthetist
cancelled 43%, Surgeon 39% while 18% of operations were cancelled due organizational
reasons. Conclusion: Cancellation of patients on operation lists occupy a substantial population
(25%) of cases. Majority of cancellation were due to reasons other than patients medical
conditions. Better management could have avoided most of these cancellations.
Keywords: Surgical Operations.

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