Ahsan M. Arozullah, MD, MPH; Jennifer Daley, MD
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Arozullah AM, Daley J. Risk Index for Postoperative Pneumonia. Ann Intern Med. 2002;137:620. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-137-7-200210010-00019
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2002;137(7):620.
There are two distinct yet related goals during preoperative evaluation. The first is to accurately predict the risk for postoperative complications, and the second is to modify risk factors to reduce the risk for complications. The main purpose of our study was to contribute to accomplishing the first goal by developing and validating a risk index for predicting postoperative pneumonia using information that is readily available to clinicians before surgery. We purposely did not include potential risk factors, such as intraoperative blood loss or postoperative pain management, because this information is not typically available before surgery and is therefore not useful for preoperative risk assessment. A risk index should not be considered “incomplete” simply because it does not include all possible risk factors. Rather, the value of a risk index should be judged based on its ability to accurately predict the outcome it was designed to predict.
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