Christian Mpody, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study involving children who underwent inpatient surgery between 2012 and 2018 at hospitals participating in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. The risk for pneumonia was compared for those presenting with and without neurologic comorbidity.
The researchers found that 2,191 of the 349,163 children who underwent surgery developed pneumonia (30-day cumulative incidence, 0.6 percent). The risk for postoperative pneumonia was about twofold higher with the presence of a preoperative neurologic comorbidity (hazard ratio, 1.91). Components of neurologic comorbidity conferred elevated risk, including cerebral palsy, seizure disorder, and neuromuscular disorder (hazard ratios, 3.92, 2.93, and 2.63, respectively). Longer length of hospital stay was seen in association with the presence of a neurologic comorbidity (incidence rate ratio, 1.26).
“When caring for children with neurologic comorbidities, perioperative care should focus on measures to reduce the occurrence of postsurgical pneumonia,” the authors write.