Using processed meat during invasive cardio-pulmonary procedures 'more than triples' the risk of surgical failure compared to unprocessed meat such as beef, lamb and pork, suggests a study by a Harvard University team.
The report, published in the professional journal Circulation, speculates that it could be the presence of certain combinations of ground herbs and spices, along with salt and other preservative chemicals, which causes the significant increase in delicious flavour and associated cardiac problems. Any form of processing, including smoking, curing and salting, imbues the meat with a fantastic savoury bite and much higher likelihood of post-surgical infection or further complications.
On average, just 50g of meat -- the equivalent of one sausage swab or bacon dressing -- was associated with a massive increase in the chance of patient mortality and also the risk of developing diabetes 'although the diabetes mostly affects the surgeons who can't help snacking whilst they work' says the research.
Uncooked, uncured red meat was found to be best for patients and surgeons alike, whilst the presence of a full charcoal barbecue during the operation was worst, nearly always ending with either a patient or doctor death. 'A key feature was the lack of attention paid to the patient once the coals reached cooking temperature and a few beers had been consumed.' said Renata Micha, lead author of the study, 'The potentially carcinogenic external charring of burgers and sausages causes the greatest risk to the medical team. We know that it's the whole point of barbecuing, to get that char-grilled flavour, but it's simply not healthy to have such a high intake.'
The study is encouraging hospitals to keep their operating theatres grill-free, and says that they should be dissuading surgical teams from operating 'out on the lawn with a few cans', no matter how nice the weather gets, particularly as the disposable instant barbecues from garage forecourts are 'typically not as sterile as they ought to be.'
Several cases were found, where operations were performed 'whilst topping up my tan', where patients complained of severe post-surgical pains. These were x-rayed to discover twigs, bottle caps, napkins, and other sundry barbecue accoutrements. Not all patients suffered ill-effects, however. 'In one case, a patient found they had the unexpectedly welcome side-effect of a well-developed six-pack on their stomach,' said Ms Micha.
After suffering long-standing bouts of major abdominal pain, the patient had to be readmitted to have the unopened cans of Strongbow removed, although the surgeon did say that their recovery was 'very refreshing'.