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Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2008 Apr;9(2):179-82. doi: 10.1089/sur.2006.085.

Incidence of postoperative infections in non-immunocompromised pediatric patients with low absolute neutrophil counts preoperatively.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Urology, Primary Children's Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT 84113, USA.



To discover the incidence of postoperative surgical site infections in non-immunocompromised pediatric patients with an absolute neutrophil count (ANC) < or = 1,000 preoperatively.


Office and hospital charts of consecutive patients with preoperative ANC < or = 1,000 undergoing elective surgery over a three-year period were reviewed for evidence of postoperative surgical site infection.


Six of 200 patients with preoperative ANCs < or = 1,000 developed a postoperative surgical site infection, an infection rate of 3.0%. One of 35 patients with preoperative ANCs < or = 500 developed a surgical site infection. The mean ANC of the study population was 800 (range 200 to 1,000); the mean ANC of the group with postoperative infection likewise was 800 (range 500 to 1,000).


There was a postoperative surgical site infection rate of 3.0% in non-immunocompromised children who had a preoperative ANC < or = 1,000, similar to the overall surgical site infection rate in children. Cancellation of elective procedures in non-immunocompromised children with ANC < or = 1,000 is not warranted on the grounds of concern about postoperative infection.

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