Bleeding and venous thromboembolic disease are considered important sources of postoperative morbidity and mortality. Clinically, treatment of these 2 disorders is often competing. We sought to better understand the relative contributions of bleeding and venous thromboembolic disease to postoperative attributable mortality in a national cohort.
A retrospective analysis of the 2006–2017 American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) database was performed to assess the adjusted odds ratio and attributable mortality for postoperative bleeding and venous thromboembolism, adjusted by year.
After adjustment for confounding variables, bleeding exhibited a high postoperative attributable mortality in every year studied. Venous thromboembolism appeared to contribute minimal attributable mortality.
Bleeding complications are a consistent source of attributable mortality in surgical patients, while the contribution of venous thromboembolic disease appears to be minimal in this analysis. Further studies are warranted to better understand the etiology of this disparity.