Objective/aims: To assess current practices in the management of children undergoing craniofacial surgery and identify areas of significant practice variability with the intent to direct future research.
Background: The perioperative management of infants and children undergoing craniofacial reconstruction surgery can be challenging because of the routine occurrence of significant blood loss with associated morbidity. A variety of techniques have been described to improve the care for these children. It is presently unknown to what extent these practices are currently employed.
Methods: A web-based survey was sent to representatives from 102 institutions. One individual per institution was surveyed to prevent larger institutions from being over-represented in the results.
Results: Requests to complete the survey were sent to 102 institutions; 48 surveys were completed. The survey was composed of two parts: management of infants undergoing strip craniectomies, and management of children undergoing major craniofacial reconstruction.
Conclusions: Significant variability exists in the management of children undergoing these procedures; further study is required to determine the optimal management strategies. Clinical trials assessing the utility of central venous pressure and other hemodynamic monitoring modalities would enable evidence-based decision-making for monitoring in these children. The development of institutional transfusion thresholds should be encouraged, as there exists a body of evidence supporting their efficacy and safety.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.