Pediatric patients transferred for operative management of appendicitis: Are they at a disadvantage?

Sandra M. Farach, Paul D. Danielson, N. Elizabeth Walford, Richard P. Harmel, Nicole M. Chandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose Many pediatric patients are initially diagnosed with appendicitis at referring hospitals and are subsequently transferred to pediatric facilities. We aimed to compare outcomes of patients transferred to a pediatric referral center to those who present primarily for operative management of appendicitis. Methods: A retrospective review of 326 patients with operative appendicitis from July 2012 to July 2013 was performed. Demographic data, clinical parameters, and outcomes were analyzed. Results: Transferred (n = 222, 68%) and primary patients (n = 104, 32%) were similar except for mean age (primary 12.4 vs. transferred 11.2 years, p < 0.01). Computed tomography scans were performed in 80% of transferred compared to 40% of primary patients. Primary patients were more likely to present between the hours of 09:00 and 17:59 (52%), while transferred arrived equally across all hours. Both groups were more likely to present with acute appendicitis (primary 56% vs. transfer 61%, p = NS). There was no difference in time of diagnosis to time of appendectomy, length of hospital stay, or 30 day complications (primary 8.6% vs. transfer 5.8%, p = NS). Conclusions: Patients transferred for definitive care of appendicitis are not found to have more advanced disease or have increased complications; however, they are exposed to significantly more ionizing radiation during evaluation for appendicitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1579-1582
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Appendectomy
  • Appendicitis
  • Key words Pediatric
  • Transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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