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Jennifer Heisler, RN

Elderly Patients Face Risk of Death, Complications When Having Surgery

By November 11, 2010

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70 really isn't the new 50, at least not when surgery is being performed.  A new study highlights the dangers that patients face as they age and need surgery.

It's common knowledge that the average elderly patient faces more risks when having surgery than a patient who is far younger, but a recent study of 4,000 patients 70 and older sheds some shocking light on the issue.  The study found that elderly patients who have surgery have a 20% chance of serious complications and a 5% chance of death in the 30 days after surgery.

Learn More: The Risks of Surgery

David Story, the author of the study, said "We found that patient factors were often far more important than the operation itself, which is a very different way of thinking."  Over half of the patients who experienced complications had a pre-existing health condition that played a role.

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