Pediatric Emergency Appendectomy and 30-Day Postoperative Outcomes in District General Hospitals and Specialist Pediatric Surgical Centers in England, April 2001 to March 2012: Retrospective Cohort Study

Stefano Giuliani, Elizabeth V Cecil, Nadja Apelt, Michael Sharland, Sonia Saxena

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<h4>Objective</h4>To compare trends in pediatric emergency appendectomy and adverse surgical outcomes between district general hospitals (DGHs) and specialist pediatric centers (SPCs).<h4>Background</h4>In the past decades in England, a significant reduction in the number of children operated by adult general surgeons has raised concerns about their surgical outcomes compared with specialist pediatric surgeons.<h4>Methods</h4>Using Hospital Episode Statistics, we analyzed patient-level data between April 2001 and March 2012. Main inclusion criteria were children younger than 16 years admitted to NHS-England hospitals for an emergency appendectomy. Main outcomes were annual age-sex adjusted appendectomy rates and postoperative risk of readmission, complication, and reintervention.<h4>Results</h4>A total of 83,679 emergency pediatric appendectomies were performed in 21 SPCs and 183 DGHs in England. SPCs performed only 18% of these operations (15,002). Annual age-sex standardized appendectomy rates fell from 87 to 68 per 100,000 population at an estimated 2% (rate ratio, 0.98) fall per annum. This was accompanied by a national annual increased risk of negative appendectomy, complication, reintervention, and readmission (adjusted odds ratio: 1.02, 1.03, 1.04, and 1.06, respectively). Children who had appendectomies in DGHs had 28% more negative appendectomies, 11% more complications, and 11% more readmissions than those in SPCs. Postoperative length of stay was double in SPCs compared with DGHs (median, 4 vs 2 days).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Major reductions in the number of pediatric emergency appendectomies in England over the past decade were associated with an overall increase in adverse surgical outcomes. Children operated in DGHs have more reinterventions, complications, and negative appendectomy rates than those operated in SPCs.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)184—190
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

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