'Routine' tonsillectomies not so routine
January 20th, 2014
11:18 AM ET

'Routine' tonsillectomies not so routine

When Jahi McMath suffered severe complications following a tonsillectomy, and doctors declared her brain dead, many parents were shocked.

More than 500,000 tonsillectomies are performed each year on children in the United States; it's the second most common pediatric surgery. But how routine are these procedures really?

Not so much, a new study published Monday in the scientific journal Pediatrics suggests. Researchers found the quality of care before, during and after a tonsillectomy varies greatly depending on the hospital.

When routine surgeries go wrong

"We were surprised at the degree of variation between hospitals in the use of medications ... and revisits to hospitals after the surgery for complications," said lead study author Dr. Sanjay Mahant.

The study

Researchers analyzed data from the Pediatric Health Information System, looking specifically at 139,155 low-risk children who underwent tonsillectomies between 2004 and 2010 at 36 children's hospitals across the United States.

Guidelines from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery recommend doctors administer dexamethasone on the day of a tonsillectomy.  Dexamethasone is used to reduce nausea and pain after surgery. The guidelines do not recommend administering antibiotics because previous studies have shown that antibiotics do not help in preventing bleeding, pain or infection after a tonsillectomy.

In addition to looking at whether hospital staff followed these guidelines, Mahant and his team also calculated the number of patients who returned to the hospital in the 30 days after surgery for bleeding, vomiting/dehydration, pain, infection and/or respiratory problems.

The results

Close to 70% of patients received dexamethansone on the day of their surgery. Nearly a third received antibiotics.

A total of 10,868 children - about 7.8% - returned to the hospital after being discharged, most for bleeding and vomiting/dehydration. Those who came in with vomiting tended to return one to two days after being discharged. Those who returned with bleeding were most likely to come in six to seven days after.

Older children were more likely to suffer from bleeding problems while younger kids were more likely to experience nausea. 


The researchers also looked at dexamethasone and antibiotic use over time, as well as the revisit rate during the study period. Dexamethasone use did not change between 2004 and 2010, but the use of antibiotics dropped significantly. The hospital revisit rate remained fairly stagnant.

Mahant and his team have held webinars with hospital administrators to educate them about the study results.

"There is definitely more work that needs to be done to understand how to reduce revisits to hospital for complications," Mahant told CNN. "One way to investigate this is by studying and learning from high-performing hospitals."

Keeping your kid safe

Parents and doctors should discuss the risks and benefits of any surgery, Mahant said.

For some children, a tonsillectomy is the necessary, or sensible option. However, he said, there are many unanswered questions regarding the the benefits of tonsillectomies for treating certain issues, such as sleep apnea.

"Parents should educate themselves about their child’s condition and treatment options, and ask questions so they feel comfortable about their decisions," he said.

soundoff (2,279 Responses)
  1. 부산출장안마

    Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not fail me as much as this one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, but I genuinely thought you would probably have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something you can fix if you weren't too busy looking for attention.


    June 25, 2021 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. 케이출장

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and the rest of the site is extremely good.


    June 25, 2021 at 23:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Sprinter Repair Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 01:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Window Repair Near Me

    Very good article. I certainly appreciate this website. Continue the good work!


    June 26, 2021 at 03:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RV Repair Shops Near My Location

    Iím impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog thatís both equally educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is something not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something regarding this.


    June 26, 2021 at 03:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who was conducting a little homework on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast simply because I discovered it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this matter here on your web site.


    June 26, 2021 at 03:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. 대구출장

    I like it when people get together and share thoughts. Great blog, stick with it!


    June 26, 2021 at 04:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. 대구출장마사지

    This excellent website definitely has all of the info I wanted about this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    June 26, 2021 at 04:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Darrel Warboys

    I have to write about two pages for creative writing. Do you have any ideas that I could use, or a topic for by paper? Thank you!.


    June 26, 2021 at 04:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. 출장

    This excellent website truly has all the information and facts I wanted concerning this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    June 26, 2021 at 05:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    This site truly has all the info I wanted concerning this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    June 26, 2021 at 05:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Repair Nearby

    Everything is very open with a precise clarification of the challenges. It was really informative. Your site is very useful. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 26, 2021 at 08:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Tabitha Uknown

    If I start a blog on Myspace, will it get listed in search engines like Google? If so, is there a way to keep them from being crawled?. . Thank you.


    June 26, 2021 at 08:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. pharmacepticacom

    tadalafil cost walmart https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 26, 2021 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Mobile Repair Service Near Me

    Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    June 26, 2021 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. casino lucien barriere

    Tỷ Lệ Kèo Bóng Đá Vòng 1Biến Động Tỷ Lệ Kèo Nhà Cái Thụy Điển Vs Ba Lan Hôm Nay 23 dê sos quận 2Hai trận đấu của lượt cuối mỗi bảng bắt buộc phải thi đấu cùng giờ. Kết thúc vòng bảng, đội nhất, nhì các bảng và 4 đội xếp thứ ba có thành tích tốt nhất sẽ giành quyền vào vòng 16 đội.


    June 26, 2021 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Emergency RV Repair Near Me

    Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to generate a very good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a whole lot and don't manage to get anything done.


    June 26, 2021 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. lich bay vsp

    Links Coi Trực Tiếp đá Bóng Futsal Việt Nam Vs Lebanon Vòng Chủng Loại World Cupu22 việt nam vs u22 philippinesĐây có lẽ là ngôi trường hợp “của đi thay người" khá như ý đối cùng với Ben McLemore. Thiếu chút nữa tay ném của Los Angeles Lakers đã có được thể gặp tai nạn nguy hiểm. Cập nhật kết quả trận Việt Nam vs Lebanon nằm trong play-off vòng chủng loại Futsal World Cup 2021.


    June 26, 2021 at 12:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RV Repair Shops Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. RV Ac Repair Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 13:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. 대구출장

    Hi, I think your blog may be having web browser compatibility issues. Whenever I take a look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in I.E., it's got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up! Aside from that, wonderful website!


    June 26, 2021 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Repair San Clemente California

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it won't disappoint me as much as this one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I genuinely thought you would probably have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could possibly fix if you weren't too busy looking for attention.


    June 26, 2021 at 14:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. satta king

    That is very interesting, You're an overly skilled blogger.
    I've joined your feed and look ahead to looking for extra of your wonderful post.

    Also, I have shared your site in my social networks

    June 26, 2021 at 17:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. heaven's gate podcast


    June 26, 2021 at 18:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. pharmaceptica

    generic sildenafil cost https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 26, 2021 at 18:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. 대구출장안마

    You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the highest quality sites on the net. I most certainly will recommend this blog!


    June 26, 2021 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. The 21 Irrefutable Laws Of Leadership


    June 26, 2021 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. 대구출장

    I must thank you for the efforts you've put in penning this blog. I am hoping to see the same high-grade content by you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own, personal blog now 😉


    June 26, 2021 at 20:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. pharmaceptica

    how much is sildenafil in uk https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 26, 2021 at 20:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. 대구출장

    This is a really good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate infoÖ Thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!


    June 26, 2021 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. podcast ideas

    After looking over a few of the blog articles on your web site, I seriously like your way of blogging. I book marked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my website as well and let me know your opinion.


    June 26, 2021 at 20:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Strategic Leadership


    June 27, 2021 at 00:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. podcast ideas


    June 27, 2021 at 04:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Leadership Icon

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It's the little changes which will make the most significant changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    June 27, 2021 at 04:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. sawbones podcast


    June 27, 2021 at 04:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Congressional Leadership


    June 27, 2021 at 06:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. 부산출장

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It's the little changes that make the most important changes. Thanks for sharing!


    June 27, 2021 at 09:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Adaptive Leadership


    June 27, 2021 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. 먹튀검증업체

    Right here is the right site for anybody who really wants to understand this topic. You understand so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want toÖHaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a topic that has been discussed for ages. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!


    June 27, 2021 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. duolingo podcast

    I have to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this site. I really hope to see the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal site now 😉


    June 27, 2021 at 12:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Sprinter Repair Orange County

    Itís hard to find knowledgeable people on this subject, but you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 27, 2021 at 14:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Camper Repairs Near Me

    You are so cool! I do not suppose I have read through something like this before. So good to discover somebody with original thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with some originality!


    June 27, 2021 at 18:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. 부산출장마사지

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am going through problems with your RSS. I donít understand why I can't join it. Is there anyone else getting the same RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    June 27, 2021 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV Repair Shops Nearby

    I absolutely love your site.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you build this web site yourself? Please reply back as Iím planning to create my own website and would love to learn where you got this from or what the theme is named. Many thanks!


    June 27, 2021 at 18:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Marcos Wyrosdick

    My spouse and i have been really thrilled that Jordan managed to finish off his investigation while using the precious recommendations he received through your weblog. It is now and again perplexing just to continually be offering concepts which often a number of people might have been making money from. We grasp we have the website owner to be grateful to for this. The explanations you made, the easy web site menu, the relationships you will make it easier to foster – it's got mostly fabulous, and it is assisting our son in addition to our family consider that the theme is cool, which is extremely indispensable. Many thanks for the whole lot!


    June 27, 2021 at 22:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Technician


    June 27, 2021 at 22:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. pharmacepticacom

    hydochloroquine https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 27, 2021 at 23:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Camper Repair Near Me


    June 28, 2021 at 02:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. 울산출장

    Howdy! I could have sworn Iíve visited this website before but after browsing through some of the posts I realized itís new to me. Regardless, Iím definitely delighted I came across it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!


    June 28, 2021 at 03:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. 울산출장

    I really like it whenever people come together and share ideas. Great website, stick with it!


    June 28, 2021 at 03:50 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46

Leave a Reply to Internet Marketing Consultants Near Me


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.