A new study published in the British Journal of Surgery on May 4 has said people in low-income countries who undergo an emergency surgery are three times more likely to die than those in developed countries.
The study said post-surgery mortality is three times higher in low-income countries compared with countries that are high on the Human Development index.
The study was based on data received from 357 medical facilities across 58 countries involving 10,475 patients. All the patients underwent emergency surgical procedures. The mortality rate (MR) among the patients in developed countries in the first 24 hours after the surgery was found to be 1 percent, whereas it was 2 percent in middle-income countries and 3.4 percent in low-income countries.
The study also calculated the death rates 30 days after surgery. The MR among patients in developed countries was 4.5 percent, compared to 6 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively, in middle and low-income nations.
The study underlined that the quality of care and facilities available to patients post surgery varied widely between developed and low-income countries, according to Reuters.
Consequently, people in poor countries were three times more prone to die after surgery than those in rich nations. The study also pointed out that the inequality in emergency care services between developed and poor countries was a matter of concern.
"Safety practices at the time of surgery are now embedded in high-income settings, which have the resources to plan and deliver them," Aneel Bhangu, a surgeon at the University Hospital, Birmingham, and study co-author, was quoted by Reuters as saying.
He said safety procedures such as equipment sterilisation, availability of antibiotics, and skin preparation at the time of surgery were less routinely used in low and middle-income countries due to lack of resources and training.
"Around the time of surgery, lack of critical care facilities and imaging due to resources may also affect outcome adversely," he added.
Bhangu told Reuters there is concern over lack of affordable surgeries in developing countries, as a result of which patients may not choose to get treated.