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Table 1 Accordion severity classification of postoperative complications: expanded classification [13]

From: Electroacupuncture for postoperative pain and gastrointestinal motility after laparoscopic appendectomy (AcuLap): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

1. Mild Requires only minor invasive procedures that can be done at the bedside such as insertion of intravenous lines, urinary catheters, and nasogastric tubes, and drainage of wound infections. Physiotherapy and the following drugs are allowed: antiemetics, antipyretics, analgesics, diuretics, electrolytes, and physiotherapy.
2. Moderate Requires pharmacologic treatment with drugs other than those allowed for minor complications, for instance, antibiotics. Blood transfusions and total parenteral nutrition are also included.
3. Severe Invasive procedure without general anesthesia. Requires management by an endoscopic, interventional procedure or re-operationa without general anesthesia.
4. Severe Operation under general anesthesia. Requires management by an operation under general anesthesia.
5. Severe Organ system failure.b
6. Death Postoperative death.
  1. aAn example would be a wound re-exploration under conscious sedation and/or local anesthetic
  2. bSuch complications would normally be managed in an increased acuity setting, but in some cases patients with complications of lower severity might also be admitted to an ICU