Prospective analysis of waiting times for emergency plastic surgery in four units.
Khan AA., Furniss D., Townley WA., Jay S., West EV., Clover AJ.
INTRODUCTION: Trauma is a significant part of the workload in plastic surgery. There are currently wide variations in the available resource for dealing with these patients. Delays to treatment currently exist and may result in poorer clinical outcomes. METHOD: Data was collected prospectively in 4 centres (Cork University Hospital, John Radcliffe Hospital, Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Salisbury District Hospital) assessing delays to theatre. We assessed time to theatre, both from injury and from review, cancellation rate, starvation time and patient satisfaction. RESULTS: 424 patients were audited over an 8-week period. The average time from review to theatre was 15.7 h and the average injury-to-theatre time was 58.6 h. The average starvation time was 10 h; the mean cancellation rate was 25%. Patients are satisfied overall with the service provided with 83% rating the service as excellent or good, and 63% feeling that there wait was not too long. CONCLUSIONS: Despite an increase in provision of emergency plastic surgery trauma lists, the average wait for emergency plastic surgery is increasing. Despite this patients remain, on the whole, satisfied with the service that they are receiving.