Perioperative Management for Emergency Surgery in Pediatric Patients with COVID-19: Retrospective Observational Study

Gezy Giwangkancana, Ezra Oktaliansah, Andi Ade W. Ramlan, Arie Utariani, Putu Kurniyanta, Hasanul Arifin, Yunita Widyastuti, Astrid Pratiwi, Rusmin Syukur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: The first wave of COVID-19 in 2020 created massive challenges in providing safe surgery for pediatric patients with COVID-19. Inevitably, emergency surgery and the unknown nature of the disease place a burden on the heavily challenged surgical services for pediatrics in a developing country. Lessons from the pandemic are important for future disaster planning. Aim: To describe the characteristics of pediatric surgical patients with COVID-19 undergoing emergency surgery during the first wave and its perioperative narrative in a developing country. Methods: The study was a multicenter retrospective descriptive study in eight Indonesian government-owned referral and teaching hospitals. The authors reviewed confirmed COVID-19 pediatric patients (≤18 years old) who underwent surgery. Institutional review board clearances were acquired, and data were evaluated in proportion and percentages. The writing of this paper follows the STROBE guidelines. Results: About 7791 pediatric surgical cases were collected, 73 matched the study criteria and 24 confirmed cases were found. Cases were more common in females (58.3%), who were above 12 years old (37.5%) and who were asymptomatic (62.5%). Laparotomy (33.3%), general anesthesia (90.4%) and intubation (80.8%) were common, while use of video laryngoscopy (40%) and rapid sequence intubation (28.8%) were rare. The mean length of stay was 12 ±13.3 days, and in-hospital mortality was 8.3%. Discussions: Lockdown and school closure were successful in protecting children, hence the low incidence of pediatric surgical cases with COVID-19 during the first wave. Many hospitals were unprepared to perform surgery for a droplet or airborne infectious disease, and COVID-19 testing was not available nationally in the early pandemic, hence the use of protective protection equipment during these early pandemic times are often not efficient. Conclusion: The incidence of COVID-19 in pediatric surgical patients is low. The rapidity and availability of preoperative testing for a new emerging disease are essential in a pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-524
Number of pages10
JournalOpen Access Emergency Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • COVID-19
  • emergency surgery
  • operating room
  • pandemic
  • pediatric anesthesia
  • pediatric surgery
  • perioperative


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