'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. 먹튀

    I couldnít refrain from commenting. Very well written!


    June 28, 2021 at 03:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Diesel Sprinter Repair Near Me

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article! It's the little changes that will make the greatest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    June 28, 2021 at 04:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. 울산출장마사지

    Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. Spending some time 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 28, 2021 at 07:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. 먹튀검증업체

    May I simply say what a relief to discover an individual who actually understands what they're discussing on the net. You certainly know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people should read this and understand this side of your story. It's surprising you are not more popular given that you definitely possess the gift.


    June 28, 2021 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RV Repair Huntington Beach

    Hi, I do think this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to return yet again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.


    June 28, 2021 at 11:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Sprinter Van Technician Shop

    An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a colleague who was doing a little homework on this. And he actually bought me breakfast due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to discuss this matter here on your website.


    June 28, 2021 at 12:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Repair Shops Nearby

    This is a topic which is near to my heart... Cheers! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    June 28, 2021 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Repair Mission Viejo


    June 28, 2021 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. 베스트 겜블링사이트

    Excellent post. I used to be checking constantly this
    blog and I'm inspired! Very helpful information specifically
    the ultimate section 🙂 I deal with such info a lot. I was seeking this
    particular info for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

    June 28, 2021 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Repair Orange County

    May I simply just say what a comfort to discover a person that truly knows what they're talking about on the web. You certainly understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people have to look at this and understand this side of your story. I was surprised you're not more popular since you certainly possess the gift.


    June 28, 2021 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. 먹튀검증커뮤니티

    There's definately a lot to learn about this subject. I love all of the points you have made.


    June 28, 2021 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Repair Orange County California


    June 28, 2021 at 19:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. 창원출장마사지

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful article. Many thanks for supplying this info.


    June 28, 2021 at 20:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 먹튀검증

    Hey there! I simply would like to give you a big thumbs up for the great info you have got here on this post. I am coming back to your web site for more soon.


    June 28, 2021 at 21:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me


    June 28, 2021 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. 먹튀검증

    When I initially commented I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the exact same comment. There has to be a way you are able to remove me from that service? Thank you!


    June 28, 2021 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. pharmaceptica.com

    how to buy sildenafil online https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 28, 2021 at 22:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Rv Upgrades Shop

    Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this information together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!


    June 28, 2021 at 22:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. 먹튀검증

    Everyone loves it when people get together and share ideas. Great website, continue the good work!

    June 28, 2021 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. 먹튀

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It's the little changes that will make the most important changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    June 29, 2021 at 00:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. 먹튀사이트

    Iím amazed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog thatís both equally educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The issue is something not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy that I found this in my search for something relating to this.


    June 29, 2021 at 00:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. 먹튀검증

    I could not resist commenting. Very well written!


    June 29, 2021 at 01:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. 창원출장안마

    I like it when individuals get together and share ideas. Great blog, continue the good work!


    June 29, 2021 at 01:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa

    Aw, this was a very nice post. Spending some time and actual effort to make a good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a lot and don't manage to get nearly anything done.


    June 29, 2021 at 02:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. www.pharmaceptica.com

    sildenafil 6mg https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 29, 2021 at 03:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. 먹튀검증커뮤니티

    After looking at a handful of the blog articles on your site, I honestly appreciate your way of blogging. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my web site as well and let me know your opinion.


    June 29, 2021 at 03:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. 먹튀검증사이트

    I really love your website.. Great colors & theme. Did you make this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as Iím hoping to create my very own website and would like to find out where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Cheers!


    June 29, 2021 at 04:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. 먹튀사이트

    Excellent write-up. I absolutely love this website. Keep it up!


    June 29, 2021 at 05:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. 먹튀검증

    This is a great tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise infoÖ Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!


    June 29, 2021 at 06:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. 창원출장

    Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to create a good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a lot and never seem to get anything done.


    June 29, 2021 at 06:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Rv Frame Repair

    You should take part in a contest for one of the finest websites on the web. I am going to highly recommend this blog!


    June 29, 2021 at 06:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. web link

    Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your post seem to be running off the screen in Internet explorer. I'm not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I figured I'd post to let you know. The design and style look great though! Hope you get the issue resolved soon. Cheers


    June 29, 2021 at 07:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Upgrades Shop Near Me


    June 29, 2021 at 07:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Repairs Near My Location

    Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this site.


    June 29, 2021 at 08:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. 먹튀검증

    I really love your website.. Great colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself? Please reply back as Iím hoping to create my very own blog and would like to know where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Appreciate it!


    June 29, 2021 at 09:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. 창원출장안마

    There is certainly a great deal to know about this topic. I like all the points you made.


    June 29, 2021 at 09:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. 먹튀검증업체

    That is a really good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Simple but very precise informationÖ Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read article!


    June 29, 2021 at 09:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. 2011 Mercedes Sprinter Rv Repair

    I enjoy looking through a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!


    June 29, 2021 at 10:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Repair Seal Beach


    June 29, 2021 at 12:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. pharmaceptica.com

    sildenafil pills buy https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 29, 2021 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. 먹튀검증

    I could not refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!


    June 29, 2021 at 14:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. 포항출장안마

    I blog frequently and I seriously appreciate your content. This great article has really peaked my interest. I will bookmark your website and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your Feed too.


    June 29, 2021 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Fast Printing Company

    My brother suggested I might like this web site.

    He used to be entirely right. This submit actually made my day.
    You can not believe just how so much time I had spent for this information! Thank you!

    June 29, 2021 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. 먹튀검증

    Hello there! I just want to offer you a huge thumbs up for the great information you have got right here on this post. I am coming back to your blog for more soon.


    June 29, 2021 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. 포항출장마사지

    Everything is very open with a clear description of the challenges. It was really informative. Your site is useful. Thank you for sharing!


    June 29, 2021 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. 먹튀검증커뮤니티

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe that this web site needs a lot more attention. Iíll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the info!


    June 29, 2021 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Repair Huntington Beach

    Saved as a favorite, I love your site!


    June 29, 2021 at 18:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. 먹튀검증

    Iím impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog thatís both educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I came across this during my search for something relating to this.


    June 29, 2021 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me


    June 29, 2021 at 20:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. 먹튀사이트

    I love looking through an article that can make men and women think. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!


    June 29, 2021 at 20:35 | 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 dillards 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.