Wound classification in pediatric surgical procedures: Measured and found wanting

Tolulope A. Oyetunji*, Dani O. Gonzalez, Katherine W. Gonzalez, Benedict C. Nwomeh, Shawn D. St Peter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose Surgical wound classification has emerged as a measure of surgical quality of care, but scant data exist in the era of minimally invasive procedures, especially in children. The aim of this study is to examine the surgical site infection (SSI) rate by wound classification during common pediatric surgical procedures. Methods A retrospective analysis of the 2013 Pediatric-National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (Peds-NSQIP) dataset was conducted. Patients undergoing pyloromyotomy, cholecystectomy, ostomy reversal, and appendectomy were included. Wound classification, SSI rate, reoperation, and readmission were analyzed. Results A total of 10,424 records were included. Pyloromyotomy, a clean case, had a 0.7% SSI rate, while ostomy reversal, a clean contaminated case, had an SSI in 6.9% of cases. Appendectomy for nonperforated acute appendicitis and laparoscopic cholecystectomy for cholecystitis, both contaminated cases, had SSI rates of 2.1% and < 1%, respectively. Appendectomy for perforated appendicitis, a dirty procedure, had a 9.1% SSI rate, below the expected > 40% for dirty cases. Reoperations and readmission rates ranged from < 1% to 9% and increased with case complexity. Conclusion Current wound classifications systems do not reflect surgical risk in children and remain questionable tools for benchmarking surgical care in children. Role of readmissions and reoperations as quality of care indices needs further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1014-1016
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Surgical site infection
  • Wound classification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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