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Pediatr Surg Int. 2004 Dec;20(11-12):824-8. Epub 2004 Nov 9.

A standardised protocol for the acute management of corrosive ingestion in children.

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Department of Pediatric Surgery, Sisli Etfal Education and Research Hospital, Pehlivanyani Sok. 7/4, 34934 Mecidiyeköy, Istanbul, Turkey.


Oesophageal strictures developing after caustic ingestion in children are a serious problem, and several protocols to prevent stricture formation have been proposed. A prospective clinical trial was conducted for preventing strictures in caustic oesophageal burns in a single clinic, and the results are presented. All children with caustic ingestion who had oesophagoscopy for diagnosing the severity of the burn were included in the study. Eighty-one children were included in the series, with ages ranging between 3 months and 12 years. The patients were given nothing by mouth until oesophagoscopy. IV fluids, broad-spectrum antibiotics, ranitidine, and a single-dose steroid were given. Oral burns were positive in 66 patients. Oesophagoscopy revealed a normal oesophagus in nine patients, grade 1 burn in 24, grade 2a in 21, grade 2b in 23, grade 3a in two, and grade 3b in one. Patients with grade 1 and 2a burns were discharged after oesophagoscopy. Patients with grade 2b and all grade 3 burns were given nothing by mouth for a week except water when swallowing their saliva, and were fed via total parenteral nutrition. After the 1st week, if there was no problem with swallowing, liquid foods were introduced. No intraluminal tubes were used. At the end of the 3rd week, a barium meal was administered and an upper gastrointestinal series taken. Dilatation was performed at 2-week intervals for strictures, which developed in one grade 2a patient, six grade 2b patients, and the grade 3b patient. Only one of these patients is currently on an oesophageal dilatation program. Limiting oral intake and avoiding foreign bodies in the oesophagus seem to provide a good success rate; however, further prospective studies are needed to decrease the incidence of corrosive oesophageal strictures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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