PURPOSE: Enhanced recovery after surgery programs is widely implemented in elective settings, however, until recently, rarely in emergency surgery. The purpose of this study was to present detailed contents and data on implementation of an emergency abdominal perioperative protocol on the basis of compliance.
METHODS: A multidisciplinary perioperative bundle for major emergency abdominal surgery was developed and implemented in March 2017 covering surgical, emergency, anesthesiological, radiological, physiotherapy, and nutritional support. The bundle consisted of preoperative-, intraoperative-, and postoperative initiatives. Fifteen core protocol items were identified for audit and compliance rates for each protocol item and overall compliance rates were evaluated and quarterly stratified throughout the first year of implementation.
RESULTS: A total of 227 consecutive patients underwent major emergency abdominal surgery from March 2017 throughout February 2018. The specific protocol items showed high individual compliance rates throughout all quarters of the first year. Time to suspicion of diagnosis at the emergency department, rate of perioperative thoracic epidural, and postoperative referral to physiotherapy showed the lowest compliance rates. The overall compliance rate of all 15 protocol items was 83% (min-max 71.4-100%).
CONCLUSION: We found it possible to implement a comprehensive detailed perioperative protocol in emergency abdominal surgery across multiple specialties with an overall good compliance of protocol items.