Many children still receive surgical care from adult specialists, despite the growth of pediatric surgical specialization and increasing numbers of dedicated children’s hospitals. Accumulating evidence continues to demonstrate advantages for children who receive surgical care from specialist pediatric surgeons at pediatric hospitals, compared to adult colleagues operating at adult institutions.

Lengths of stay, hospital charges and mortality were higher when children were treated in adult hospitals.

Jarod P. McAteer, M.D., and colleagues at Seattle Children’s Hospital report that the risk of bowel resection during operative intussusception reduction was 80% less when performed at hospitals employing full-time pediatric surgeons compared to hospitals providing pediatric care by non-pediatric surgeons (
J Am Coll Surg
2013
;
217
:
226
-232
). Children’s hospitals also incurred significantly lower rates of postoperative complications following bowel resection for intussusception.

This finding is mirrored by the work of Jen, et al. and Bratton, et al., who...

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