Screen outpatients for frailty, researchers say — 6 key takeaways

Frailty can heighten the risks of elective, outpatient procedures, which are increasing in popularity, according to researchers interviewed by MedicalResearch.com.

Key takeaways:

1. Using a national database, the researchers studied 417,840 elective, outpatient surgeries from 2012-13. Around 3 percent of those patients were deemed "frail," meaning they were more vulnerable to stressors such as surgery.

2. Frailty was associated with postoperative complications, failure to rescue and hospital readmissions.

3. The risk of complications for frail patients was between 6.9 percent and 9.8 percent, while the risk of complications for non-frail patients was between 2.5 percent and 4.6 percent.

4. Between 8.3 percent and 8.5 percent of frail patients had an unplanned readmission, compared to between 1.9 percent and 3.2 percent for non-frail patients.

5. The risk of unplanned readmission was nearly double for frail patients, a multivariate analysis showed.

6. Researchers recommend performing routine frailty screening before all surgeries — including ones considered low-risk enough to be performed in an outpatient setting — using the Risk Analysis Index.

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