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04-11-2010 | Gastroenterology | Article

Hospital visits after endoscopy higher than expected


Free abstract

MedWire News: With the help of a new automated system, researchers have observed that the incidence of related hospital visits within 2 weeks of endoscopy is two-to-three-fold higher than expected from previous estimates.

"The cost of unexpected hospital visits postendoscopy may be significant and should be taken into account in screening or surveillance programs," say study author Daniel Leffler (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA) and colleagues.

Around 15 to 20 million endoscopies are carried out in the USA each year, but relatively little is known about the safety and rate of complications of such procedures.

In this study, Leffler and team used a novel automated system to monitor the after effects of 6383 esophagogastroduodenoscopies and 11,632 colonoscopies for 14 days following the initial procedure. Of the latter, 7392 were carried out for screening and surveillance purposes.

The researchers found that, overall, 419 of these patients visited emergency departments (EDs) and 266 were hospitalized within 14 days of the initial procedure. Of these, 134 (32%) of the ED visits and 76 (29%) of the hospitalizations were procedure related.

In total, 1.07% of esophagogastroduodenoscopies, 0.84% of colonoscopies, and 0.95% of screening colonoscopies led to procedure-related hospital visits, a two-to-three-fold higher rate than expected from recent estimates.

"Most events were not captured by standard reporting, and strategies for automating adverse event reporting should be developed," write Leffler et al in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The team calculated that each ED visit had a mean cost of US $1403 (€1016) and each hospitalization a cost of US $10,123 (€7334). They suggest that this extra cost should be "taken into account in screening or surveillance programs."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Helen Albert