Why do people die after surgery: New Insights

A new paradigm to improve the safety of all major surgeries

Although there is evidence of surgery occurring as far back as 2500 BC, history suggests there have been only 2 major paradigm changes that have dramatically improved the safety of all major surgeries. Both of these changes were discovered in the 1840s. Our research has uncovered what we believe has the potential to represent the third paradigm change to dramatically improve the safety and efficacy of major surgery.

Worldwide >230 million adults have major surgery annually, and this number is increasing. Among patients having surgery, both the average age and comorbidities are rising. Although surgery has the potential to improve and prolong a patient’s quality and duration of life, it can precipitate major complications including death. Our goal is to get to a place where any patient can have surgery without risk of a major complication and death.

What we will discuss:

  • Gain historical insights into the first 2 major paradigm shifts that dramatically improved the safety of all major surgeries.
  • Learn about what complications are associated with 30-day mortality in modern surgery.
  • Acquire insights into the potential 3rd paradigm shift that may dramatically improve the safety of all major surgeries.


PJ Devereaux, BSc, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology
McMaster University
Scientific Leader of Anesthesiology, Perioperative Medicine
and Surgical Research Group at PHRI


Flavia Borges, MD
Assistant Professor, Medicine
Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University


Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Date and Time

2020-06-25 @ 07:30 PM
* All event times are in EST (Toronto)

Recorded Video/Audio Presentation

Recorded Video/Audio Discussion

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