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Is Nonperforated Pediatric Appendicitis Still Considered a Surgical Emergency? A Survey of Pediatric Surgeons

Published:September 14, 2012DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2012.08.004

      Abstract

      Objective

      To describe the beliefs and preferences of pediatric surgeons regarding the emergent nature of nonperforated appendicitis.

      Methods

      An electronic mailing was sent to all 1052 members of the American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA) inviting participation in a 26-item survey, which was administered by Survey Monkey (www.surveymonkey.com). Chi-square and Mann-Whitney tests were used for bivariate analysis. Spearman’s rho was used for nonparametric correlation.

      Results

      Four hundred eighty-four pediatric surgeons (46%) responded to the survey. Few respondents (4%) considered nonperforated appendicitis to be a surgical emergency. A minority (14%) would come in from home to perform an overnight appendectomy. Most (92%) believe that postponing overnight appendectomy until daytime does not result in a clinically significant increase in perforation. Respondents endorsed surgeon fatigue (56%) and limited operating room availability (56%) most often among factors that would make them more likely to postpone surgery. Sixty-eight percent reported no departmental guideline regarding delay of overnight appendectomy.

      Conclusions

      Most pediatric surgeons in our study believe nonperforated appendicitis is not a surgical emergency and prefer to postpone overnight appendectomy.

      Keywords

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