It now seems that dwelling in places that encompass less number of pediatricians is harmful for kids. According to a recent study, children living in areas with fewer pediatricians are more likely to suffer from deadly ruptures of the appendix. The results were ascertained after accounting for factors such as the number of hospitals, imaging technology, insurance coverage and the number of surgeons in an area.
Scientists examined nearly 250,000 hospital records of children with appendicitis, which pointed out that kids with appendicitis living in counties having the most pediatricians per capita were least likely to develop complications. The more pediatricians in a geographic area, fewer the instances of ruptured appendix may arise. For every 100 children with appendicitis, 12 more kids forming 12 percent more probably developed ruptured appendix in the area with the fewest pediatricians as compared to the area with the most pediatricians.
“Our analysis shows that the most potent predictor of outcome in children with appendicitis was the number of pediatricians available in an area, emphasizing the pivotal role they play as the point of first contact in the care of a sick child,” remarked Fizan Abdullah, M.D., Ph.D., a pediatric surgeon at Hopkins Children’s, lead author.
It was mentioned that factors like the number of hospitals in the area, the number of hospitals with emergency rooms, the availability of a CT scanner and the number of surgeries performed in a county each year did not seem to affect the risk for an appendix rupture. Even the number of emergency room physicians, surgeons or radiologists in the area did not alter with the chances of suffering from an appendix rupture. From a total of 241,301 children with appendicitis, 77,097 were diagnosed with a ruptured appendix. The death rate appeared seven times higher in kids with a ruptured appendix as compared to those with uncomplicated appendicitis.
The study is published online in the December issue of JAMA-Archives of Surgery.