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J.Jpn. Surg. Soc.. 125(3): 237-243, 2024

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Department of Acute Care Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Shimane University, Izumo, Japan

Hiroaki Watanabe, Yoshihide Shimojo

Acute care surgery, which began with the three areas of trauma surgery, emergency surgery, and surgical critical care, has expanded to include the new area of surgical rescue, which refers to surgical salvage procedures for complications resulting from various treatments that are important in preserving the patient’s life. It occurs not only in surgical departments but also in any department within and outside a hospital. In Japan, reports on surgical rescues are limited, and the actual situation is unclear. Epidemiological studies elsewhere have reported that approximately 13% of hospitalized patients undergo surgical rescue; therefore, they are not a rare group. While complication rates do not vary among institutions, there are significant differences in patient survival rates depending on the establishment of an acute care surgery model and achievement of accurate early surgical intervention. To reduce failures to rescue, which are fatal in these procedures, it is important to identify changes in a patient’s condition early to avoid delays in surgical intervention. Accordingly, a surgical rapid response system, which is a surgical adaptation of the rapid response system, should be established in hospitals for early surgical intervention. Surgical rescue is an acute condition, similar to trauma and emergency surgery, that acute care surgeons should be familiar with. Acute surgical skills of acute care surgeons can be effectively utilized in the hospital to reduce failures to rescue. Surgical rescue is an important area where acute care surgery can be effective.

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