While foreign bodies retained after surgery occur very rarely among children, pediatric patients undergoing certain types of surgical procedures are at far greater risk of experiencing such an event, according to a new study published in the November issue of the Archives of Surgery.
Study cites risks for retained foreign objects
Of 15 surgical procedure categories—including cardiothoracic, orthopedic and vascular—pediatric gynecologic procedures had the highest odds ratio for retained foreign objects. Those surgeries most often addressed conditions such as ovarian cysts or cancer, according to the authors, who used databases to analyze data from 1.9 million hospitalized children.
Lengths of stay for pediatric patients with retained foreign objects were longer than average—seven days vs. three days—and hospital charges were also higher. The authors said future studies should examine specific surgical procedures to determine the likelihood of these types of events.
“This will have implications for providers performing these procedures, because awareness of a higher risk could prompt the need for greater attention to prevent the occurrence of an adverse event,” the authors said in the study. “Moreover, the results of this analysis are relevant to the ongoing and evolving process of implementing standardized national outcomes measures for pediatric surgical operations.”
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