February 11, 2021

Increase in pediatric perforated appendicitis in New York City area during COVID-19

Editor's Note

This study led by researchers from NYU Grossman School of Medicine, Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, New York City, finds that children in the New York City metropolitan region at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak had higher rates of perforated appendicitis compared with historical controls.

Researchers analyzed 55 children presenting at three hospital sites with acute appendicitis between March 1 and May 7, 2020, and compared them to a 5-year control cohort of 1,291 patients.

The researchers found a higher perforation rate (45% vs 27%) and longer mean duration of symptoms in children with perforations (71 ± 39 hours vs 47 ± 27 hours) during the COVID-19 period studied. Whether a child screened positive or negative for COVID-19 made no difference in perforation rates or median length of stay.

Though children have avoided much of the morbidity directly linked to COVID-19, disruption to local healthcare delivery systems may negatively affect other aspects of pediatric surgical disease, the researchers say.


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