Older patients, who also happen to be black or Hispanic, are much more likely to suffer from surgical complications, compared to white seniors.

New research recently tried to identify the rate of complications and narrowed down 13 common types of complications. The researchers analyzed more than 587,000 white, black and Hispanic patients in the age group of 65 and above. All of these patients had undergone surgery.

According to the study, black patients were approximately 3 times more likely to develop 12 of the surgical complications that were analyzed as part of the study. In the case of Hispanic patients, the rate of complications was twice as high as that of white patients at an average of 9 complications.

The good news was that when the researchers accounted for hospital as well as patient characteristics, they found that the rate of complications among minority seniors dropped significantly.

What the study does prove conclusively to California medical malpractice lawyers is that the risk of surgical complications among seniors is very dependent on pre-existing conditions in the patient. Patients who were sick before the surgery, or who suffered from health conditions that placed them at a higher risk of surgical complications, were more at risk for suffering complications after the surgery.

The research does seem to point to a need for a complete pre- surgical patient assessment. This should be done for every patient, and specifically for older and minority patients, who maybe slipping through the cracks without getting a proper assessment. The lack of a presurgical assessment increases the risk of post surgical complications for these patients.