In our study of emergency CRC patients, 52% were diagnosed by colonoscopy, which is slightly higher than other studies . Concerns about the median wait-times for inpatient endoscopy in emergency CRC patients mirror the concerns for outpatients with CRC . While we observed a trend toward reduced wait-times for inpatient colonoscopy in
the post-ACCESS group, future cost-benefit analyses are necessary to determine the ideal balance for allocating endoscopy resources towards outpatient and inpatient procedures within the constraints of a publicly-funded healthcare system . In the absence of an ACS service with dedicated OR time, access to emergency OR resources may be affected by a multitude of factors, including competing surgical specialty access, consultant practice patterns, and the availability of anesthesiologists and other OR support staff [10, 11, 13, 14, 39]. The overall hospital length of stay was similar among the three groups, #see more randurls[1|1|,|CHEM1|]# and comparable to other studies . While we did not observe differences in patient outcomes, long-term follow-up of a large number of patients will be necessary to identify differences between groups. However, given that the biology of CRC tumours among emergency
patients may be more aggressive and invasive compared to non-emergency or elective CRC patients , the expedited treatment of patients within a single admission, as demonstrated by our study, may play a role in improving clinical outcomes for emergency CRC. As with the implementation of
any new surgical service, the organization of ACCESS underwent subtle Ipatasertib supplier changes throughout the study period in order to optimize the utilization of operative resources. While we observed a longer, but statistically Tryptophan synthase insignificant, wait-time between colonoscopy and surgery for post-ACCESS patients, a large prospective multi-centre analysis of institutions with ACS services may help identify more emergency CRC patients, determine their outcomes in and out of hospital, and highlight any potential inefficiency in the setup of ACS services with respect to wait-times for colonoscopies and surgeries. There are several limitations in this study. Although endoscopy can be used to provide symptomatic relief for patients (including decompressing an acutely obstructed colon [40, 41] or halting gastrointestinal bleeding), it was beyond the scope of our study to examine whether the colonoscopies were performed with therapeutic intent. Additionally, none of the patients in our study underwent colonic stenting. While its use as a bridge to elective surgery remains controversial in patients presenting with emergency CRC [24, 25], future prospective cohort studies of all emergency CRC patients (surgical and non-surgical) are needed to assess the value of colonic stenting in this population. Additionally, we did not consider whether the surgeries were performed with curative or palliative intent, because it may not have been clearly evident at the time of the operation.