Postmortem Examination in Case of Death
During my career, deaths following cholecystectomy and herniotomy were rare in the 10 hospitals that I supervised. However, an unwritten law among surgeons was that any such deaths had to be investigated, and postmortem examinations had to be conducted. Until 2006, this showed in double-digit proportions substantial deviations from the diagnoses made when patients were alive. This was then the subject of regular discussion.
In the article by Nimptsch and Mansky (1), I read that in 2957 (1316) patients who died, postmortem examinations were documented for only 13 (7). The autopsy rate was 0.4% (0.5%). Which conclusions should we draw for a total of 4273 deaths, of which only 20 were closely investigated? It seems rather a long shot to me to use statistics to draw robust conclusions from this. My conclusion would be to conduct a careful postmortem examination on each of those patients who died from such a small procedure and to discuss the findings with colleagues. This would yield robust material and, in my opinion, better statistics for our patients’ benefit.
Dr. med. Gernot von Hinüber
Pathologe i. R., Kempten, firstname.lastname@example.org
Conflict of interest statement
The author declares that no conflict of interest exists .
|1.||Nimptsch U, Mansky T: Deaths following cholecystectomy and herniotomy—an analysis of nationwide German hospital discharge data from 2009 to 2013. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2015; 112: 535–43 VOLLTEXT|