The risk of waiting for coronary artery bypass surgery


The relative urgency of coronary artery bypass grafting is still under debate, and in this issue of CMAJ, Légaré and colleagues evaluated safety among patients with stenosis of the left main coronary artery.

The authors assigned 561 such patients to 1 of 4 waiting queue: emergent (no waiting), in-hospital urgent and out-of-hospital semi-urgent A and semi-urgent B (the longest wait). The authors found that pre- and postoperative mortality and morbidity were not significantly associated with the waiting period but point out that the "acceptable" rate of adverse events for a managed waiting strategy is still undetermined.

In a related commentary, Rexius asks whether patients do in fact have an increased risk of death on the waiting list and encourages short waiting times to reduce possible risk.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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