Practice patterns of pediatric surgeons caring for stable patients with traumatic solid organ injury

Mary E. Fallat, Anthony J. Casale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Background: Managed care financing has resulted in pressure to decrease hospital days and lower per diem costs. This influence may ultimately affect nonoperative management of blunt solid organ injuries in children (spleen, liver, kidneys). Methods: Pediatric surgeons caring for trauma patients were surveyed regarding current practice patterns. One survey was sent to a representative staff pediatric surgeon at each major children's hospital or children's unit involved in the care of the injured child in the United States. Results: There were 87 responses to 117 surveys (75%). Relatively few children fail nonoperative management. For major management decisions, including radiographic study of choice; when to transfuse; and when to allow out of bed, home, and back to school, there was often a clear majority opinion of appropriate care. However, there was a wide variance in response for some questions. Conclusions: Surgical judgment must be individualized, but a low number of failures of nonoperative management is helpful in delineating safe practice guidelines. Surgeons using fewer resources than the norm may help delineate management schemes that are equally effective to more expensive care. Based on these responses a management protocol is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)820-824
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Nonoperative management
  • Spleen
  • Wounds and injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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