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AimIntraperitoneal drains are often placed during emergency colorectal surgery. However, there is a lack of evidence supporting their use. This study aimed to describe the efficacy and safety of intraperitoneal drain placement after emergency colorectal surgery.MethodCOMPlicAted intra-abdominal collectionS after colorectal Surgery (COMPASS) is a prospective, international, cohort study into which consecutive adult patients undergoing emergency colorectal surgery were enrolled (from 3 February 2020 to 8 March 2020). The primary outcome was the rate of intraperitoneal drain placement. Secondary outcomes included rate and time-to-diagnosis of postoperative intraperitoneal collections, rate of surgical site infections (SSIs), time to discharge and 30-day major postoperative complications (Clavien-Dindo III-V). Multivariable logistic and Cox proportional hazards regressions were used to estimate the independent association of the outcomes with drain placement.ResultsSome 725 patients (median age 68.0 years; 349 [48.1%] women) from 22 countries were included. The drain insertion rate was 53.7% (389 patients). Following multivariable adjustment, drains were not significantly associated with reduced rates (odds ratio [OR] = 1.56, 95% CI: 0.48-5.02, p = 0.457) or earlier detection (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.07, 95% CI: 0.61-1.90, p = 0.805) of collections. Drains were not significantly associated with worse major postoperative complications (OR = 1.26, 95% CI: 0.67-2.36, p = 0.478), delayed hospital discharge (HR = 1.11, 95% CI: 0.91-1.36, p = 0.303) or increased risk of SSIs (OR = 1.61, 95% CI: 0.87-2.99, p = 0.128).ConclusionThis is the first study investigating placement of intraperitoneal drains following emergency colorectal surgery. The safety and clinical benefit of drains remain uncertain. Equipoise exists for randomized trials to define the safety and efficacy of drains in emergency colorectal surgery.

Original publication




Journal article


Colorectal disease : the official journal of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland

Publication Date





2043 - 2053


EuroSurg Collaborative†, Humans, Surgical Wound Infection, Postoperative Complications, Drainage, Cohort Studies, Prospective Studies, Colorectal Surgery, Adult, Aged, Female, Male