September 25, 2018 7:30 am
Updated: September 25, 2018 1:45 pm

In the last year, Fraser Health postponed 2,300 operations on day of surgery

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Thousands of surgeries are performed every year in the Fraser Health region, but how many are cancelled or postponed?

Between Aug. 1, 2017 and July 31, 2018, Global News has learned more than 91,000 surgeries were carried out across the region.

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Of that number, three per cent were postponed on the day of the surgery.

That represents 2,300 operations.

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Some reasons for postponements include: the surgeon decided not to proceed, a scheduling error, or the patient was a no-show.

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At Surrey Memorial Hospital, about four per cent of all scheduled surgeries were postponed on the day of the operation — that’s roughly 435 operations.

Meantime, Fraser Health has previously said it’s increasing the number of hip and knee replacements by 33 per cent this year and next.

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In a statement to CKNW, Fraser Health said they looked at cases that were postponed the day of the surgery between Aug. 1, 2017 and July 31, 2018.

Here is the full statement:

During this time, we performed more than 91,000 surgeries across our region. As part of the province’s four-part surgical strategy that was announced earlier this year, we are increasing the number of hip and knee replacements in our region by 33 per cent in 2018/19. This increase in surgeries benefits our patients by helping them get the surgery they need more quickly, and back to doing the activities they enjoy.

The vast majority of postponed scheduled surgeries are due to reasons beyond our control. These include emergency surgeries, and, in some cases, a patient may elect to cancel the surgery, their health status may change and they no longer require surgery, or they do not show up for their appointment.

We work very hard not to postpone surgeries, as this is inconvenient for our patients. When a procedure is postponed, every effort is made to then prioritize the patient for the next available time/date.

In total, three per cent of all scheduled surgeries were postponed on the day of the surgery across Fraser Health during the above time period.

The reason for the postponement can be broken down into:

  • Because of Fraser Health (surgeon/anesthetist decision not to proceed, scheduling error, etc.) – 24%
  • Because of the patient (cancelled, no show, changed their mind, etc.) – 25%
  • Uncontrollable (emergency, over-run*) – 51%

*Over-run means another scheduled surgery took longer than expected (ie. complications), so not all procedures on the slate for the day could be completed.

In terms of Surrey Memorial Hospital specifically, about four per cent of all scheduled surgeries were postponed on the day of the surgery.

The reasons for postponement include:

  • Because of Fraser Health (surgeon/anesthetist decision not to proceed, scheduling error, etc.) – 25%
  • Because of the patient (cancelled, no show, changed their mind, etc.)  – 25%
  • Uncontrollable (emergency, over-run) – 50%

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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