I read a statistic in a news report based on a Lancet study that said that an estimated 1.14% of patients who enter a hospital for in-patient surgery never leave the hospital alive.

Since there are roughly 50 million in-patient surgeries in the United States every year, does that mean 720 thousand people go into hospitals for surgery and die every year?

Mortality after surgery (Pearse, Moreno, et al, 2012)


I don't know where 720,000 comes from; I get 700,000 (50,000,000 x .014). But ignoring that....

Assuming the 1.4% number from the Lancet represents the US patient population, and assuming your 50-million figure is correct, then yes, it means 700K in-patient surgery patients in the US don't leave the hospital every year. But if the Lancet figure is for some other population (the UK or EU, for example) then it doesn't apply. It would probably still be a close estimate, but the numbers all need to come from the same population for them to be reliable.


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