GlobalSurg team report first ever estimate of the total number of deaths within 30 days of surgery in top medical journal, The Lancet
How many people die within 30 days of surgery?
In total, we modelled that 4.2 million people die after surgery every year; more than the total number of global deaths from TB, malaria, and HIV/AIDs (2.97 million) combined.
Previous estimates suggest that 4.8 billion people worldwide do not have access to surgery, predominantly in low and middle income countries (LMICs).
If this unmet need for surgery is addressed, we estimate that global postoperative deaths would increase to 6.1 million, with the majority of deaths occurring in LMICs.
These findings highlight that whilst access to surgery must continue to be scaled up across the world, it’s essential that this occurs in tandem with investment aimed at improving peri-operative safety.
The study also exposes the urgent need for more research in LMICs to identify strategies to improve surgical outcomes.