DOI: 10.1093/bjs/znad258.159 ISSN:

932 Provision of a 7 Day Radiology Service for Emergency Laparotomy Patients: Are We Compliant with Current Standards?

N Mirtorabi, S Ikram, H Aain, D Ali, M Dilworth
  • Surgery



According to “NHS services, Seven Days a week Forum”, a radiological scan should be reported within 1 hour for “critical” requests and within 12 hours for “urgent “ones. Requests are considered critical when the test will alter patient’s management at the time; and urgent if the test will alter management but not necessarily that day.


The aim was to audit whether the above standards were met for urgent and critical requests for patients undergoing emergency laparotomy.


A single centre retrospective audit of adults undergoing emergency laparotomy between 01/02/2014 to 30/12/2021 was performed. Data was collected from the National Emergency Laparotomy Audit database. A total of 1748 patient records were analysed out of which 1309 were included. Patients who underwent pre-operative CT scan in the same admission were included. Patients who had CT prior to admission for laparotomy and those who had more than one operative intervention were excluded. CT time was calculated as time taken from CT examination to reporting.


Standards were met for 27.5% of all investigations ordered. 0.16% of Critical, and 53% of urgent scans were reported within required times. There was no difference in standards met between weekends and weekdays.


Limitations include the retrospective nature of data collection and amendment time being recorded instead of original reporting time for some scans. Recommendations include allowing time frames for standards and retaining interim report times.

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