Background: Anastomotic leak is a serious complication after major gastrointestinal surgery and majority of deaths occur due to septic shock. Therefore, the early identification of risk factors of septic shock may help reduce the adverse outcomes. Objective: The aim of this audit was to determine the predictors of septic shock in patients with anastomotic leak after major gastrointestinal surgery. Design: Retrospective, audit. Materials and Methods: The patients admitted in the gastrosurgical intensive care unit ICU) of our institute between September 2009 and April 2012 with anastomotic leakage after surgery were identified. The ICU charts were retrieved from the database to identify the patients progressing to septic shock. A comparison of risk factors was made between the patients who developed septic shock (septic shock group) against the patients who did not (non-septic shock group). Results: The study sample comprised of 103 patients with anastomotic leak, of which 72 patients developed septic shock. The septic shock group had a higher APACHE II score, lower MAP, and higher HR at the time of ICU admission. They received greater transfusion of packed red blood cells during their ICU stay. Septic shock was more common after pancreaticojejunostomy and hepaticojejunostomy leaks. Conclusion: Presence of malignancy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), packed red blood cell transfusion, bacteremia, and hepaticojejunostomy or pancreaticojejunostomy leaks were independent predictors of mortality and length of ICU stay. To the best of our knowledge there are no available studies in the literature on the predictors of risk factors of septic shock in patients with anastomotic leakage.
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