Mandhan P, Shah A, Khan A, Muniruddin Hasan N.
Outpatient pediatric surgery in a developing country.
J Pak Med Assoc Jan ;50(7):220-4.

OBJECTIVE: To access the prospects of daycare pediatric surgery in a developing country like Pakistan in view of economic advantages, parent`s acceptability and utilization of hospital resources. METHODS: This prospective study was carried out in Karachi from 1st January 1994 to 31st December 1996 in three different private hospitals having optimum operating, anaesthetic and recovery facilities. Selection criteria included general fitness for surgical procedure, not requiring hospitalization, no associated congenital malformation and co-operative parents residing in Karachi. An evening before surgery, all patients were examined thoroughly and detailed instructions for pre-operative fasting and pre-medications were given to the family. Operations were carried out by same surgical team with different set of anesthetists. After surgery and recovery from anesthesia, the children were observed in a holding area adjacent to operating room till fully conscious and alert. Before leaving the hospital, the parents were briefed about post-operative care at home like feeding, ambulation and use of analgesics. A contact telephone number was also provided to the family for any difficulty or emergency. All patients were re-examined 36-48 hours post-operatively in clinic, for any problem at home and the parents were assessed for their attitude toward this modality. RESULTS: In 3-year period a total of 368 surgical procedures were carried out of whom 129 operations were done in children under 1-year of age and the youngest patient was one week old with a weight of 2.9 kg. The average age was 2.9 years and average weight was 13 kg. Male:female ratio was 3.6:1. The average operating time was 28 min, average anaesthesia time was 38 min and average recovery time was 17 min, which was not affected by the use of endotracheal tube. Majority of parents managed their children very well at home and only 17% of them called one of the surgeons to inquire about their apprehension at home and all were explained and satisfied. On an average 37% children required two doses of post-operative oral analgesia and 59% returned to normal activity after 24 hours. The overall incidence of complication was 3.6% and there were no deaths or major complications. Only one patient required post surgical hospitalization due to post-operative pneumonia. The mode of management was cost effective and also the parents appreciated the avoidance of hospitalization because of less disruption of their routine work at home and office. CONCLUSION: Based on the above experience, we recommended that a variety of common pediatric operations can be done safely as out patients in infants and children, with economic advantages, high parent`s acceptability and better utilization of hospital resources without scarifying the quality of health services.

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