Infectious complications in the management of gastroschisis
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Neonates with gastroschisis make up an increasing proportion of prolonged surgical NICU admissions. While infectious complications are known to increase patient morbidity, it is unclear whether they vary according to abdominal closure method, or can be predicted by initial patient assessment.
A national, prospective, disease-specific database was evaluated for episodes of wound infection (WI) and catheter-related infection (CRI). Antibiotic use and timing, as well as method and location of abdominal closure were studied. The gastroschisis prognostic score (GPS) was calculated and evaluated as a predictor of infectious complications.
Of 395 patients, 48 (12.6%) had a documented abdominal WI, and 59 patients (14.9%) had at least one episode of CRI-most commonly coagulase negative staphylococcus. Most abdominal closures took place within 6 h of admission (194 = 51.3%), while 132 (34.9%) were delayed greater than 24 h. The WI rate was greater in the delayed group (21.2 vs. 8.2%, p = 0.0006). The GPS was found to predict development of an infectious complication (WI + CRI, p = 0.04).
Infectious complications remain an important consideration in the management of gastroschisis. GPS correlates with the development of infectious complications. Prophylaxis for skin flora and early closure, when feasible, may reduce WI rates.