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J Pediatr Surg. 1993 Feb;28(2):204-8.

The treatment of complicated appendicitis in children using peritoneal drainage: results from a public hospital.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center.


During the 2-year period from January 1, 1987 to December 31, 1988, 656 emergency appendectomies were performed on the Pediatric Surgery Service at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. Of these, 398 patients were 12 years of age or less, and 227 appendices (57%) were perforated or gangrenous. The records of 167 of those patients with perforated or gangrenous appendices, treated by a standardized protocol are summarized. The protocol included perioperative antibiotics of gentamicin and clindamycin, appendectomy through a muscle-splitting incision, irrigation of the peritoneal cavity with saline, and peritoneal drainage through the lateral aspect of the wound with skin closure. There was no mortality, and the major complication rate was 8%, with 3% developing intraabdominal abscesses and 5% with bowel obstructions. The minor complication rate was 11%, and included prolonged ileus and prolonged fever, with no wound infections. The average hospital stay was 8.7 days. Our experience suggests that the adopted protocol is reliable for preventing wound infections without increasing the rate of intraabdominal abscesses in an innercity population with particularly advanced stages of appendicitis.

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