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Complications for 2.2 Percent After Electrophysiology Procedure

Of the 0.6 percent of patients who died, three-quarters of deaths not related to procedures

FRIDAY, May 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) — The incidence of complications after electrophysiology (EP) procedures is about 2.2 percent, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology.

Sarah K. Hussain, M.D., from the Penn State Hershey Heart and Vascular Institute, and colleagues prospectively followed all patients undergoing EP procedures between January 2010 and September 2012 at a tertiary academic medical center. Data were included for 3,213 procedures. Patients were followed for 30 days after the procedure. Events related to the procedure that led to prolongation of hospital stay or readmission, required additional procedural intervention, or resulted in death or significant injury were classified as major complications. Physicians adjudicated whether complications were directly related to the procedure.

The researchers found that major complications occurred in 2.2 percent of patients, of which 49 percent occurred after discharge. Overall, 0.6 percent of patients died; 73 percent of these deaths were attributed to secondary worsening of the patient’s underlying condition and were not associated with the procedure.

“When considering national standards for reporting outcomes of all EP procedures, continued follow-up after discharge is important,” the authors write. “In our cohort, half of major complications occurring within 30 days occurred after discharge. In addition, three-quarters of deaths within 30 days were not directly related to the procedure and caution should be used in using all-cause mortality as an outcome measure for EP procedures.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the medical device industry.

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