Feasibility of Fast-Track Elements in Pediatric Surgery
19 May 2011
09 July 2011
02 November 2011 (online)
Background We recently showed that fast-track pathways could be applied to only one third of patients undergoing routine pediatric surgery. The aim of this study was to investigate various fast-track elements in various procedure types irrespective of the applicability of a whole fast-track pathway.
Methods Patients undergoing routine surgical procedures from April 2009 to April 2010 were included in the study. 11 groups of procedures were differentiated and quality criteria were established for 8 fast-track elements: analgesia, postoperative nutrition, postoperative mobilization, applicability of minimally invasive surgery when appropriate, hospital stay, postoperative symptoms, complications, and parental evaluation. A fast-track element was considered as successfully applied if used in at least 75% of patients. The hospital stay was compared with data from the German reimbursement system (G-DRG).
Results A total of 203 patients were included. Optimal analgesia was achieved in all procedure types except in oncologic surgery (58%) and ureteral reimplantation (71%). Significant nausea and vomiting occurred only after Kasai operation and “other laparoscopic procedures”. Early nutrition was achieved in all procedures except after fundoplication (67%) and Kasai operation (62%). Early postoperative mobilization was not successful after hypospadias repair (40%) and ureteral reimplantation (43%). Minimally invasive techniques could not be applied in 48% of thoracic procedures and in 58% of oncological patients. There were no fast-track associated complications. In 4 of 11 procedure types, the mean hospital stay was significantly reduced compared to G-DRG data. There were 4 readmissions (2%). 2 weeks after discharge 94% of interviewed parents evaluated fast-track treatment as excellent.
Conclusion Fast-track elements in pediatric surgery increase patient comfort, reduce hospital stay, and achieve a high patient satisfaction. We wish to emphasize the benefits of using fast-track elements irrespective of whether a whole fast-track protocol is applicable.
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