Unplanned readmission after emergency laparotomy: A post hoc analysis of an EAST multicenter study

EAST Multicenter ESS Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Hospital readmission is an important quality-of-care indicator. We sought to examine the rates and predictors of unplanned readmission for the high-risk non-trauma emergency laparotomy patient. Methods: This is a post hoc analysis of a multicenter prospective observational study. Between April 2018 and June 2019, a total of 19 centers enrolled all adult patients undergoing emergency laparotomies and systematically collected preoperative, operative, and 30-day postoperative variables. For the purpose of this study, we defined unplanned readmission as a readmission occurring within 30 days from discharge and one that was immediately preceded by an emergency department visit. Patients were excluded if they died during the index admission, were discharged to hospice, or were transferred to other hospitals. Predictors of unplanned readmission were evaluated using a multivariable logistic regression model, adjusting for patient demographics, comorbidities, laboratory variables, and preoperative acuity of disease variables. Results: A total of 1,347 patients were included, of which 234 (17.4%) had an unplanned readmission. The median patient age was 60 y, 49.4% were male, and 71.4% were white. The most common diagnoses were hollow viscus perforation (28.1%) and small bowel obstruction (24.5%). Predictors of unplanned readmission included patient factors (eg, disseminated cancer [odds ratio: 2.22, confidence interval: 1.35–3.64, P =.002], weight loss >10% in the past 6 months [odds ratio: 1.65, confidence interval: 1.07–2.54, P =.023], dyspnea at baseline [odds ratio: 1.62, confidence interval: 1.06–2.48, P =.026], wound complications [odds ratio: 2.23, confidence interval: 1.55–3.19, P <.001], and discharge to nursing homes [odds ratio: 1.68, confidence interval: 1.02–2.80, P =.044]). Conclusion: Unplanned readmission after emergency laparotomies are common, especially for patients with wound complications or requiring nursing homes. These system factors are potential quality improvement targets to reduce readmissions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1434-1440
Number of pages7
JournalSurgery (United States)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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