Paediatric Appendicitis: Has SARS-COV-2 Influenced the Clinical Profile and Management during the Pandemic Period?

Sadiq, Shinaz and Binu, MK and Maneesha, UR and Beena, SV and Aravind, CS (2023) Paediatric Appendicitis: Has SARS-COV-2 Influenced the Clinical Profile and Management during the Pandemic Period? JOURNAL OF CLINICAL AND DIAGNOSTIC RESEARCH, 17 (5). PC28-PC33. ISSN 2249782X

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Introduction: The Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) had profound repercussions on routine medical practices all over the globe. There are fewer studies on the impact of the pandemic on childhood surgical conditions like Acute Appendicitis (AA), which is the most common paediatric surgical emergency.

Aim: To analyse whether COVID-19 has influenced the clinical profile and management of paediatric appendicitis during the pandemic period.

Materials and Methods: A retrospective study was carried out in the Department of Paediatric Surgery, SAT Hospital, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India, comparing AA cases during the pandemic period (group A=from February 2020 to January 2022) with AA cases during the prepandemic period (group B=from February 2018 to January 2020). Analysis of data regarding patient demographics (age, sex), duration of symptoms and hospital stay, type of appendicitis, total and differential leucocyte count, ultrasonographic findings, treatment modality and complications was done. Subgroup analysis of children in group A was done by comparing AA cases with active/recent COVID-19 infection (Subgroup A1) with the rest of AA in the group (Subgroup A2). Pearson’s Chi-square test was used for the analysis of categorical variables and independent t-test was used for numerical data. p-value<0.05 was considered significant.

Results: There were 826 AA cases, with 375 children in group A and 451 in group B. A significant reduction in the number of AA cases was noted during the first year of the pandemic (n=167 vs n=242, p-value=0.009) and a significantly higher number of cases were managed conservatively during the pandemic period (n=48 vs n=10, p-value <0.0001). Children with active/recent COVID-19 infection presented late (p-value=0.03), had a significantly higher incidence of complicated appendicitis (p-value=0.02), decreased total leucocyte count (p-value=0.01), decreased polymorph count (p-value=0.02) and higher incidence of the conservative modality of treatment (p-value<0.005).

Conclusion: Overall, there were no significant differences in the clinical profile of AA during the pandemic period. But, children with AA who had active/recent COVID-19 infection had a longer duration of symptoms and a higher incidence of complicated appendicitis. The pandemic influenced the management protocols with an increase in the number of AA cases being managed conservatively when compared to the prepandemic period.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: STM Library > Medical Science
Depositing User: Managing Editor
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2023 06:53
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2023 05:07

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