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Goodbye Scalpels! Antibiotics Safe, Effective In Treating Appendicitis In Kids

Appendix Kids 121715

Intake of antibiotics may be a better option than surgery in children with appendicitis and may actually lead to better outcomes, a new study has said.

Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix, and is characterized by abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and fever.

It is caused by the blockage of the hollow portion of the appendix, which leads to increased pressures within the appendix, decreased blood flow to the tissues of the appendix, and bacterial growth inside the appendix causing inflammation.

The researchers screened 629 appendicitis patients aged between seven and 17 who came to their emergency room between October 2012 and March 2013 for the study. Nearly 22 percent of them, 136 in number, did not have severe or complex cases of appendicitis and were eligible for the study.

Finally, 102 children were enrolled in the study. Of these, 37 families elected to have their children treated with intravenous antibiotics for at least 24 hours, followed by oral antibiotics for the next 10 days. The other families elected surgery.

The success rate of non-operative management was 89.2 percent at 30 days and 75.7 percent at 1 year.

The incidence of complicated appendicitis was 2.7 percent in the non-operative group and 12.3 percent in the surgery group.

After 1 year, children managed non-operatively compared with the surgery group had fewer disability days and lower appendicitis-related health care costs.

The study published in JAMA Surgery concludes that non-operative management is an effective treatment strategy for children with uncomplicated acute appendicitis, incurring less morbidity and lower costs than surgery.

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