June 1, 2020

Pediatric modification of scoring scale helps surgeons prioritize procedures during COVID-19

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

In this study, researchers found that a pediatric adaptation of the adult Medically Necessary Time-Sensitive (MeNTS) risk stratification system was a valuable decision tool that helped them prioritize surgical procedures in children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The researchers tested the pediatric MeNTS (pMeNTS) in 101 patients scheduled for surgery at UChicago Comer Children’s Hospital from March 23 to April 19. They analyzed 53 deferred cases and 48 cases that were allowed to proceed as scheduled. The pMeNTS scores provided a safe, equitable, transparent, and ethical strategy to prioritize procedures.


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The researchers also compared scores of 21 patients using both the pediatric and adult scoring systems. Most children had higher scores with the adult MeNTS, while the pMeNTS successfully captured various factors that are unique to children.

The pMeNTS has reduced surgeons’ moral dilemmas in making decisions on which sick children can proceed with their scheduled procedures, the authors say.  

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