A 7-year retrospective review of renal trauma in paediatric patients in Johannesburg
Background: South African data on paediatric patients with renal trauma that are usually managed conservatively is scarce. This study aimed to review a 7-year experience of paediatric renal trauma and management.
Methods: A retrospective review of all paediatric admissions with renal injury was conducted in the Department of Paediatric Surgery, University of the Witwatersrand, between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2018. Data from medical records reviewed included patient age, gender, mechanism of injury, severity of injury, management and length of hospital stay.
Results: Thirty-one patients with renal injuries were identified, of which 30 had complete data. Of these cases, 26/30 (87%) sustained blunt renal injuries and 4/30 (13%) were penetrating. The median age at presentation was 6 years, and 60% were females. Three patients had isolated renal injuries, and 23 had concomitant injuries including hepatic (9), thoracic (8), splenic (5), head (4), facial (3) and ureteric (1). Twenty-three patients were managed non-operatively. Two required renal exploration with resultant nephrectomies and one haemodynamically unstable patient died preoperatively. Four patients required operative intervention for concomitant injuries with no renal exploration. Two patients required ureteric stenting. The median length of hospital stay was 7 days (Range: 4–11 days, IQR 7 days).
Conclusion: Renal injuries in haemodynamically stable patients should be managed non-operatively. A 93% renal preservation rate was achieved in this cohort of patients with nephrectomy performed only in haemodynamically unstable patients with Grade V injuries, in keeping with international norms.
The South African Journal of Surgery (SAJS) reserves copyright of the material published. The work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial Works 4.0 South Africa License. Material submitted for publication in the SAJS is accepted provided it has not been published elsewhere. The SAJS does not hold itself responsible for statements made by the authors.