Major vascular injuries during lumbar disc surgery

The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) is passing on important information following the death of a patient:

There is a 1:4000 risk of abdominal vessel injury during lumbar spine discectomy. Teams delivering such surgery should know about this rare but life-threatening complication and be prepared and able to manage the situation.

The Society of British Neurological Surgeons (SBNS) and the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) received instruction from the Coroner to act to prevent future death.  Teams delivering this service are asked to address matters of consent, education, continuing professional development as well as the organisation of timely and safe supportive services.

M Leech et al. Abdominal Aortocaval Vascular Injury following Routine Lumbar Discectomy Case reports in Anesthesiology Volume 2014, Article ID 895973,

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