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National survey on abdominal trauma practices of pediatric surgeons

La Scala, G. C.
Published in European Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 2010, vol. 20, no. 5, p. 334-338
Abstract INTRODUCTION: Pediatric blunt abdominal trauma is a frequent reason for hospital admission, but there are no established guidelines to assess these patients. Our study aims to evaluate the diagnostic process used by pediatric surgeons in Switzerland to evaluate abdominal trauma. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A scenario-based survey was carried out among Swiss pediatric surgeons. Respondents were asked to report on their management of children with blunt abdominal trauma. RESULTS: The response rate was 46% (26 of 54). The clinical signs considered the most important were abdominal examination and palpation (100%), auscultation (81%), external genital exam (77%) and Glasgow Coma Scale (77%). The most frequent laboratory exams requested were urine analysis (100%), complete blood count (96%), liver function tests (85%) and coagulation tests (77%). 42% of the physicians asked for an abdominal ultrasound for every patient with blunt abdominal trauma. 58% reported that some patients do not need a CT scan despite anomalies in the initial workup. There were significant variations in the clinical assessment of patients with minor blunt abdominal trauma. Abnormal ultrasounds, but not abnormal liver functions tests, prompted clinicians to obtain CT scans. When evaluating the probability of organ injury after a full workup, clinicians relied on the results of the ultrasound but not on liver function tests. A normal CT scan did not appear to reassure physicians if the patient still presented with mild abdominal pain. CONCLUSIONS: There is a wide variation in the clinical assessment, request for laboratory tests and use of radiological exams among Swiss pediatric surgeons. Further studies are required on the evaluation of abdominal organ injuries in children.
Keywords Abdominal Injuries/diagnosis/*surgery/ultrasonographyAdultChildCross-Sectional StudiesFemaleHumansLiver Function TestsMale*Physician's Practice PatternsSwitzerlandWounds, Nonpenetrating/diagnosis/*surgery/ultrasonography
PMID: 20976655
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Research group Recherche clinique en chirurgie pédiatrique (886)
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KARAM, Oliver Laurent et al. National survey on abdominal trauma practices of pediatric surgeons. In: European Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 2010, vol. 20, n° 5, p. 334-338. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1261885 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:21035

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Deposited on : 2012-05-23

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