Surgical Morbidity in Malnourished Children - A Pilot Study
Open J Pediatr Neonatol
Objectives: Nutritional status is an important and independent factor influencing postoperative outcome of elective and emergency surgical procedures. We evaluate the influence of nutritional status on postoperative complications in our pediatric surgical patients.
Methods: Retrospective study of malnourished children who underwent elective and emergency surgeries from 2015-2018 (4 years) in our hospital was done. Demographic data like age, sex, anthropometric measures like weight and biochemical parameters like hemoglobin, albumin, and electrolytes were collected. Patient’s nutritional status and post-operative complications like wound dehiscence, wound infection; respiratory tract infection, sepsis, and need for ICU care and prolonged hospital stay were compared.
Results: 20 patients in the study period were found to be below 3rd percentile of body weight. They had high incidence of postoperative complications like wound dehiscence or burst abdomen (55%), prolonged ICU care (44%) and sepsis (44%). They also had prolonged hospital stay (average 51 days).
Conclusion: Nutrition status is an important factor determining postoperative outcomes. Hence steps should be taken to optimize nutrition in pediatric children undergoing surgery and close monitoring of biochemical and clinical parameters needed to identify complications in children with malnutrition postoperatively.
Keywords: Malnutrition; Pediatric Surgery; Morbidity; Postoperative Outcome