Is it reliable to make a decision based on visual changes in the patient's diaper in the evaluation of post circumcision bleeding?

Afr J Paediatr Surg. 2023 Jan-Mar;20(1):12-20. doi: 10.4103/ajps.ajps_157_21.


Background: The most common complication of circumcision is bleeding. Monitoring bleeding by visual assessment of the diaper can cause errors due to the high absorbency of diapers. The patient may have had significant problems before the visible changes. The amount of liquid that wets the cloth does not necessarily lead to a visual change consistent with the amount, and the nature of the liquid contaminating the diaper may cause difficulties in terms of visual evaluation. Making a decision based on the visual changes in the patient's diaper cannot be considered as reliable.

Methods: We planned to evaluate the visual changes that are caused by liquids of various volumes and contents that wet the diaper, according to measurable criteria. We aimed to emphasise the importance of the subject in circumcision practices of diapered children. Wetting of diapers with different volumes and variable blood load was performed utilising blood with different haematocrits and fluids. One hundred and sixty different diapers in four groups were moistened utilising the drip method. Visual changes in the soaked diapers were evaluated with the colorimetric method and five different colour criteria. The saturation and lightness values, which indicate the colour value, were obtained by using the numerical equivalents of the three main components, red, green and blue. Analysis was carried out by subjecting statistical evaluation within and between groups.

Results: There was a significant difference between the control group and the study group. It was observed that visual changes caused by the moistened cloths with linear increase did not make the same linear interaction. There was not a significant difference between Group II and Group IV, which were soaked with the same amount of blood and different volume of fluid. In Group III, colour saturation changes were found to have a parabolic effect instead of a linear change. In two different analyses of moistened diapers in terms of volume and blood load; it was not determined that the expected linear changes between the groups were not observed.

Conclusion: Visual changes in diapers related to volume or blood load effects of fluids may not be compatible with the amount of bleeding. Mistakes may occur when super absorbent wipes are used when determining the amount of bleeding from the use of colour changes in the diaper. Visual changes should not be relied on in bleeding due to circumcision. Rather, vital signs follow-up and measurable laboratory tests should be used as a basis.

Keywords: Bleeding; circumcision; complications.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Circumcision, Male* / adverse effects
  • Diapers, Infant
  • Hemorrhage* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male