Purpose: Despite Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocols demonstrating improved outcomes in a wide variety of adult surgical populations, these protocols are infrequently and inconsistently being used in pediatric surgery. Our purpose was to develop a pediatric-specific ERAS protocol for use in adolescents undergoing elective intestinal procedures. Methods: A modified Delphi process including extensive literature review, iterative rounds of surveys, and expert panel discussions was used to establish ERAS elements that would be appropriate for children. The 16-member multidisciplinary expert panel included surgeons, gastroenterologists, anesthesiologists, nursing, and patient/family representatives. Results: Building upon a national survey of surgeons in which 14 of 21 adult ERAS elements were considered acceptable for use in children, the 7 more contentious elements were investigated using the modified Delphi process. In final ranking, 5 of the 7 controversial elements were deemed appropriate for inclusion in a pediatric ERAS protocol. Routine use of insulin to treat hyperglycemia and avoidance of mechanical bowel preparation were not included in the final recommendations. Conclusions: Using a modified Delphi process, we have defined an appropriate ERAS protocol comprised of 19 elements for use in adolescents undergoing elective intestinal surgery. Prospective validation studies of ERAS protocols in children are needed. Level of evidence: Level V, Expert opinion.
- Colorectal surgery
- Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS)
- Fast track surgery
- Modified Delphi process
- Pediatric surgery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health