Reasons For Cancellation Of Elective Neurosurgical Operations at a Referral Hospital In Malawi


  • Ken-Keller Kumwenda Kamuzu Central Hospital
  • Lucy Dodoli Kamuzu Central Hospital


Elective, Cancellation



Introduction: Unanticipated cancellation of scheduled elective operations may lead to dissatisfaction among patients, increase costs, and also reflect inefficiency in the management of the operating theatre. Knowing the reasons, appropriate steps can be implemented to reduce the rate of cancellations of elective operations. Materials and methods: This was a prospective observational study conducted at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Malawi. The aim was to determine the rate and causes of cancellation of elective neurosurgical procedures and to suggest changes that can reduce such cancellations. Scheduled elective neurosurgical procedures were reviewed from theatre records from October 2021 to October 2022. Operative cancellations were defined as those patients who were scheduled on the operative list but did not have the planned surgery on the intended date. The collected data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Results: According to this audit, 21% of the 295 elective surgical procedures were cancelled, with the three most frequent reasons for cancellation being insufficient theatre time (40%), uncontrolled medical disease (15%), and the unavailability of an ICU bed for postoperative care (15%). Conclusion: The cancellation rate in this study was high. Appropriate measures need to be taken to improve theatre utilisation and efficiency at Kamuzu Central Hospital.

Author Biography

Lucy Dodoli, Kamuzu Central Hospital

Registered theatre nurse at Kamuzu Central Hospital

Was responsible for collecting the data and anylising it

Partcipated in the write up and discussion of the results


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How to Cite

Kumwenda K-K, Dodoli L. Reasons For Cancellation Of Elective Neurosurgical Operations at a Referral Hospital In Malawi. EAJNS [Internet]. 2023 Aug. 13 [cited 2024 Apr. 18];2(2):53-61. Available from:



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