Benchmarks for splenectomy in pediatric trauma: How are we doing?

Stephanie F. Polites, Martin D. Zielinski, Abdalla E. Zarroug, Amy E. Wagie, Steven Stylianos, Elizabeth B. Habermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background/purpose Following publication of American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA) hospital benchmarks for the operative management of blunt splenic trauma in specialized centers, it was found that most hospitals exceeded these benchmarks. We sought to determine if benchmarks were being met a decade later and to identify factors associated with splenectomy in injured children. Methods Rates of splenic procedures were calculated for children ≠19 with a blunt splenic injury (ICD-9 865) using the 2010-2011 National Trauma Data Bank. Multivariable analysis was performed to determine independent predictors of splenectomy. Results Of 8597 children, 24.3% received care at pediatric trauma centers (PTC), 34.6% at adult trauma centers (ATC), and the remaining 41.2% at other centers (OTC). The overall operative rate was 9.2% (3.9% if age < 14, 6.7% if ≤ 17). Operative rates were higher in children treated at ATC and OTC when compared to PTC. On multivariable analysis, age > 14, coexisting injuries, severity of splenic injury, and care at ATC or OTC were predictive of undergoing operative treatment. Conclusions Operative rates for splenic injuries meet APSA benchmarks at PTC yet remain high at other centers. Care at an ATC or OTC is associated with greater odds of operative management after adjustment for age and injury severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-342
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Pediatric trauma
  • Spleen
  • Splenectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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