Criteria-led discharge for simple appendicitis in children: A pilot study

Bridget Roddis, Nicholas Ensor, Shona Williamson, Hannah Funnell, Sangeetha Murthi, Maurizio Pacilli, Ramesh M. Nataraja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Aim: Criteria-led discharge (CLD) protocols have been suggested to increase efficiency of discharge from hospital following surgical interventions. Our aim was to assess the feasibility, clinical outcomes and parental satisfaction following the introduction of a pilot CLD for simple appendicitis (SA) in children. Methods: A prospective pilot cohort study was conducted including paediatric patients with SA who were managed with CLD and a control group who were managed with standard discharge procedures. A CLD pro forma was developed, standardising care guidelines and clinical criteria indicators to be met for children to be discharged post-operatively. A post-discharge parent survey was also utilised. The primary outcome measure was post-operative length of stay (pLOS), with secondary outcomes of post-operative complication rates and parental satisfaction. Results: The control group consisted of 31 patients and CLD group 35 patients. There was no difference in the median pLOS (24 [16.7–44.6] vs. 25.3 [19.1–50.1] h, P = 0.3). Furthermore, there were no significant differences on any of the secondary outcomes. Parental confidence with time of discharge was very high in both control (85.7%) and CLD (88.2%) groups (P = 1.0). Conclusion: The introduction of CLD is safe and feasible. Whilst this pilot has not demonstrated a reduction in pLOS, our data suggest that it is well accepted by the parents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1238-1243
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • appendicitis
  • criteria led discharge
  • event led discharge
  • paediatric surgery

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