Is early discharge following isolated splenic injury in the hemodynamically stable child possible?

J Pediatr Surg. 1993 Oct;28(10):1403-6; discussion 1406-7. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3468(05)80336-7.


Nonoperative treatment of splenic injury is well accepted. Two questions have not been answered. (1) What is the intensity of monitoring required in the hemodynamically stable patient? (2) How long do patients need to be hospitalized? Ninety-one patients having computed tomography (CT) or surgically proven splenic injury were treated between September 1986 and September 1991. Excluded from the study were 16 patients requiring operation and 22 patients having multiple system injuries. All operations occurred within 24 hours of admission. No transfusions were required later than 48 hours following admission. The remaining 53 patients (58%) constitute the study group. CT classification of Buntain indicated 6 class I, 21 class II, 24 class III, and 2 class IV injuries. The mean Injury Severity Score (ISS) for the group was 6.98 +/- 3.43. Serial hematocrits for the patients treated without transfusions were followed until three consecutive determinations showed no change. The lowest average hematocrit for the nontransfused group was 30.96% +/- 4.47% and occurred on day 2.06 +/- 0.76. Eleven patients (23%) had left-sided pleural effusions that resolved without intervention. One patient had an ileus for 3 days. CT or ultrasound examination was obtained on day 5 to 7 to document healing before the patient was allowed out of bed and discharged. The average hospital stay was 7.06 +/- 2.24 days. Twenty-two patients were initially observed in the intensive care unit (ICU). Clearly the interval between hematocrit stability (average, 2.06 days) and discharge (average, 7.06 days) constitutes a time of minimal nursing care while utilizing bed space and health care dollars.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Blood Transfusion
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Patient Discharge* / statistics & numerical data
  • Pennsylvania / epidemiology
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spleen / diagnostic imaging
  • Spleen / injuries*
  • Spleen / surgery
  • Time Factors
  • Trauma Severity Indices
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / diagnosis
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / epidemiology
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / physiopathology
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / therapy*
  • Wounds, Penetrating / diagnosis
  • Wounds, Penetrating / epidemiology
  • Wounds, Penetrating / physiopathology
  • Wounds, Penetrating / therapy*