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P148: What do surgeons expect of the Emergency Department in the diagnosis and management of pediatric appendicitis?

  • G. C. Thompson (a1), S. Selby (a1), G. Blair (a1) and N. Yanchar (a1)

Abstract

Introduction: The optimal diagnostic strategy for children presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) with suspected appendicitis (SA), the most common non-traumatic surgical emergency in children, remains unclear. This study aims to identify which investigations and management priorities are preferred by Canadian surgeons prior to consultation from the ED. Methods: An internet survey was extended to practicing surgeons who are members of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons and Canadian Association of General Surgeons. Three case-based scenarios evaluated surgeons expected ED investigations and management for SA with varying severity of disease (simple - SA vs perforated - PA) and sex (male vs female). Differences across scenarios were determined by ANOVA and direct comparisons were reported using proportions and odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals. Results: Surveys were completed by 82 surgeons. Across the 3 cases, CBC (227/246, 92.3%) and urinalysis (188/246, 76.4%) were the sole investigations expected in >75% of responses. Expectations differed across cases for use of blood cultures (p<0.001), electrolytes (p<0.001), sexually transmitted infection testing (0.015) and ultrasound (US) (p<0.001). Blood cultures (26/82, 31.7% vs 4/82, 4.9%; OR 9.05 95%CI 2.88-37.33) and electrolytes (58/82, 70.7% vs 33/82, 40.2%; OR 3.59 95%CI 1.79-7.24) were expected more often in severe disease. US was expected more often in females (58/82,70.7% vs 25/82, 30.5%; OR 5.51, 95% CI 2.68-11.38). Expected management differed across cases for fluid boluses (p=0.01), intravenous (IV) analgesia (p<0.001) and antibiotics (p<0.001), with all differences attributed to severity of illness (fluids 73/82, 89.0% vs 59/82, 72.0% OR 3.16 95%CI 1.28-8.33; IV analgesia 66/82, 80.5% vs 42/82, 51.2% OR 3.93 95%CI 1.86-8.45; antibiotics 44/82, 53.7% vs 10/82, 12.2% OR 8.34 95%CI 3.59-20.44). Conclusion: Severity of illness and sex of the child impact the ED investigations and management expected by surgeons consulted for suspected appendicitis. Further research focusing on how these expectations influence patient outcomes should be conducted. Collaborative ED-surgery protocols for the diagnosis and management of acute appendicitis in children should be established.

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P148: What do surgeons expect of the Emergency Department in the diagnosis and management of pediatric appendicitis?

  • G. C. Thompson (a1), S. Selby (a1), G. Blair (a1) and N. Yanchar (a1)

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