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K. Aaron Shaw, Nicholas D. Fletcher, Dennis P. Devito, and Joshua S. Murphy

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of postoperative admission status on 30-day perioperative complications in patients with growing spinal instrumentation undergoing surgical lengthening.

METHODS

This retrospective case-control study of records from the 2014–2015 National Surgical Quality Improvement Program–Pediatric database was performed to identify surgical lengthening procedures of spinal implants in patients with growing instrumentation by Current Procedural Terminology code. The 30-day postoperative complications were classified according to the Clavien-Dindo system. Patients were subdivided according to their postsurgical admission status. Admission status, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Physical Status classification, tracheostomy, neuromuscular diagnosis, ventilator dependence, and nutritional support were considered as possible risk factors in univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses.

RESULTS

A total of 796 patients were identified (mean age 9.09 ± 3.44 years; 54% of patients were female), of whom 73% underwent lengthening on an inpatient basis. Patients with a tracheostomy or ventilator dependence were more likely to be admitted postoperatively. The overall rate of major complications was 3.5% and did not differ based on admission status (2.8% inpatient vs 3.8% outpatient, p = 0.517). On univariate analysis, ventilator dependence (9.5% vs 2.7%, p = 0.002), need for nutritional support (7.1% vs 2.5%, p = 0.006), and ASA class > II (4.8% vs 1.3%, p = 0.04) placed patients at a higher risk for any postoperative complications. Multivariate analysis identified only ventilator dependence as an independent risk factor for any perioperative complication.

CONCLUSIONS

Postoperative admission status did not affect the rate of 30-day perioperative complications, readmission, or rate of unplanned operations following lengthening of growing spinal instrumentation. Outpatient lengthening appears to be safe; however, consideration for postoperative admission should be given for those who are ventilator dependent.

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Neil Kaushal, Keith J. Orland, Andrew M. Schwartz, Jacob M. Wilson, Nicholas D. Fletcher, Anuj Patel, Bryan Menapace, Michelle Ramirez, Martha Wetzel, Dennis Devito, and Joshua Murphy

OBJECTIVE

Posterior spinal fusion (PSF) for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) can be associated with significant blood loss. It has been suggested that blood loss is greater in different racial groups. The purpose of this study was to evaluate differences in blood loss between African American and Caucasian patients undergoing PSF for AIS.

METHODS

A retrospective review was performed of patients aged 10–18 years with AIS who were treated with PSF from 2014 to 2017 at a single children’s healthcare system. Patient demographic, radiographic, and operative data were obtained from medical records. Intraoperative blood loss was calculated using the formula described by Waters et al. Patients who declined reporting their race or had prior spinal surgery, neuromuscular or syndromic diagnoses, a history of cardiac or thoracic surgery, or a bleeding disorder were excluded. Blood loss variables were log-transformed for normality and modeled using multivariable linear regression.

RESULTS

A total of 433 PSFs for AIS qualified for the analysis. The average age was 14.1 years, and 73.7% of the patients were female. With respect to race, 44.6% identified themselves as African American. There was no significant difference in blood loss (p = 0.31) or blood loss per level fused (p = 0.36) in African American patients. African American patients, however, did have significantly lower preoperative hemoglobin and hematocrit levels and greater operating room time than Caucasian patients (p < 0.001). There was no difference between race and transfusion rate.

CONCLUSIONS

There appears to be no relationship between race and blood loss during PSF for AIS. Standardized protocols for minimizing perioperative blood loss can be applied to both Caucasian and African American patients.