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Paediatric Day Surgery: Revisiting the University Hospital of the West Indies Experience



Day surgery is cheaper and allows for less time delay. In developing countries with limited health budgets, these factors lead to higher patient turnover and shortened waiting lists. The decreased psychological trauma for both parents and children is significant. Paediatric day surgery (PDS) has been done at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) for over 40 years. A total of 975 paediatric general surgical (PGS) procedures were performed on 963 patients at the UHWI during the four-year period, January 2001 to December 2004. Paediatric day surgery numbered 727 (74.6%). Males outnumbered females 2:1, the age range was 2 weeks to 15 years, with an average age of 4 years. Ninety-seven (13.3%) of these patients were less than six months old, including eight neonates. One hundred and forty-five (20%) had more than one surgical procedure. Most children, 314 (43.2%) had inguinal hernia repair. Umbilical/supra-umbilical/epigastric herniorrhaphy (20.1%) was the next most frequently performed procedure, followed by circumcision (13.3%) and orchidopexy (5.9%). Ninety per cent of these patients were discharged home within 2–4 hours after surgery. Unplanned admissions were 2.1% of the cases. These were due to age, unplanned extensive surgical procedure, drug reaction and fever. There was no mortality in this study population. This review showed that the number of PDS has increased from 60% in 1984 to 75%. These procedures were performed safely with a low complication rate. Further expansion of the service is recommended.

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e-Published: 03 Jul, 2013
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