DÄ internationalArchive14/2016Postmortem Examination in Case of Death

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Postmortem Examination in Case of Death

Dtsch Arztebl Int 2016; 113: 251. DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2016.0251a

Hinüber, G v

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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.

DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2016.0251a

Dr. med. Gernot von Hinüber

Pathologe i. R., Kempten, gernot@vonhinueber.de

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
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

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