Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children in areas with few pediatricians at higher risk for serious appendix ruptures

Date:
December 29, 2010
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
Children who live in areas with fewer pediatricians are more likely to suffer life-threatening ruptures of the appendix than those in areas with more pediatricians, even when accounting for other factors such as the number of hospitals, imaging technology, insurance coverage and the number of surgeons in an area, according to a new study.

Children who live in areas with fewer pediatricians are more likely to suffer life-threatening ruptures of the appendix than those in areas with more pediatricians, even when accounting for other factors such as the number of hospitals, imaging technology, insurance coverage and the number of surgeons in an area, according to a study from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

The study's findings, based on an analysis of nearly 250,000 hospital records of children with appendicitis, are published online in the December issue of JAMA-Archives of Surgery.

"Our analysis shows that the most potent predictor of outcome in children with appendicitis was the number of pediatricians available in an area, emphasizing the pivotal role they play as the point of first contact in the care of a sick child," said lead investigator Fizan Abdullah, M.D., Ph.D., a pediatric surgeon at Hopkins Children's.

The appendix is a small tube extending from the large intestine, and infections and inflammation of the organ can be dangerous. Each year, 77,000 children develop appendicitis, and an estimated one-third of them suffer a ruptured appendix, a serious complication of appendicitis that often results from delays in diagnosis and surgery to remove the inflamed or infected organ.

The analysis showed that children with appendicitis living in counties with the most pediatricians per capita were the least likely to develop complications, and the more pediatricians in a geographic area, the fewer the instances of ruptured appendix. For every 100 children with appendicitis, 12 more children (12 percent more) would end up with ruptured appendix in the area with the fewest pediatricians than in the area with the most pediatricians.

Factors such as the number of hospitals in the area, the number of hospitals with emergency rooms, the availability of a CT scanner and the number of surgeries performed in a county each year did not affect the risk for an appendix rupture, the study found. Neither did factors such as the number of emergency room physicians, surgeons or radiologists in the area. In their statistical analysis, the investigators also accounted for age, gender, household income, insurance coverage and race to ensure that the discrepancy in outcomes did not stem from such factors. It didn't.

Of the 241,301children with appendicitis in the study, 77,097 ended up with a ruptured appendix. The death rate was seven times higher among children with a ruptured appendix than in children with uncomplicated appendicitis (0.01 percent vs. 0.07 percent).The Hopkins study also found that children with perforated appendix were hospitalized for twice as long -- five days instead of two -- as children with uncomplicated appendicitis, doubling the cost of care, from $10,385 to $20,581, on average.

The investigators say that health officials and policymakers should pay special attention to geographic areas with severe shortages of pediatricians and high rates of appendicitis complications and take steps to address the shortages as a life-saving and cost-cutting measure.

Co-investigators on the study included Melissa Camp, M.D. M.P.H., David Chang, Ph.D. M.P.H. M.B.A., Yiyi Zhang, M.H.S., Meghan Arnold, M.D., Leilani Sharpe, B.S., Alodia Gabre-Kidan, M.D., and Melinda Bathurst, M.S. M.B.A., all of Hopkins.

The research was funded by the Robert Garrett Fund for the Surgical Treatment of Children.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Children in areas with few pediatricians at higher risk for serious appendix ruptures." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101229142156.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2010, December 29). Children in areas with few pediatricians at higher risk for serious appendix ruptures. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101229142156.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Children in areas with few pediatricians at higher risk for serious appendix ruptures." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101229142156.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins