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Table 2 Clinical examples of postoperative complications

From: Clinical review: Can we predict which patients are at risk of complications following surgery?

Grade Organ system Example
1 Cardiac Arrhythmia cardioconverting with electrolytes
  Respiratory Fluid overload requiring diuretics
  Neurological Mild delirium, self-limiting
  Gastrointestinal Drug-related diarrhoea
  Renal Mild acute renal failure (not requiring treatment)
2 Cardiac Atrial fibrillation requiring ß-blockade/digoxin
  Respiratory Pneumonia needing antibiotics and/or oxygen
  Neurological Transient ischaemic attack
  Gastrointestinal Ileus needing nasogastric/further treatment
  Renal Urinary tract infection needing antibiotics
3a Cardiac Bradyarrhythmia needing pacing wire
  Respiratory Effusion needing chest drain
  Neurological Extra/subdural haematoma needing evacuation
  Gastrointestinal Pseudo-obstruction needing flatus tube
  Renal  
3b Cardiac Tachyarrhythmia needing direct current cardioversion
  Respiratory Bronchopleural fistula post thoracic surgery
  Neurological Extra/subdural haematoma needing evacuation
  Gastrointestinal Anastomic leakage needing surgery
  Renal Stenosis of ureters after transplantation
4a Cardiac Heart failure requiring ionotropes
  Respiratory Pneumonia needing intubation
  Neurological Cerebrovascular accident/haemorrhage
  Gastrointestinal Pancreatitis
  Renal Acute renal failure
4b   Any combination of the above
  1. Adapted from [11].