Nonoperative management of stable children with splenic injuries is the standard of care but has been variably applied in New England. The influence of surgeon training on this variation was analyzed.
A region-wide administrative data set was queried for children with a splenic injury from 1990 through 1998. The influence of a range of patient- and hospital-specific variables, including surgeon pediatric training, on the risk of operation was analyzed.
The risk of operation increased with age, severity of splenic injury, and the presence of multiple injuries, but also trauma center status and the presence of a surgical training program. After allowance for these variables, the risk of operation was reduced by half when children with splenic injuries were cared for by a surgeon with pediatric specialty training.
The risk of operation for pediatric splenic injury in New England is dependent on several variables, including the surgeon’s training.