Author(s): de Jong AL, Macdonald R, Ein S, Forte V, Turner A
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Abstract Caustic ingestion with resultant corrosive esophagitis in the pediatric population comprises a heterogeneous group in terms of offending agent, location of burn and the degree of damage. Consequently, the treatment of these injuries has also varied over the years and the optimal management remains controversial. Another area of concern that is seldom reported in the otolaryngology literature is the socioeconomic impact of such injuries both on the child and on the family. We report a 30-year retrospective review of aerodigestive tract caustic injuries at The Hospital for Sick Children. Eighty patients were identified with an age range from 1 month to 16 years. Early and late complications are reviewed including 23 patients (29\%) that developed medical complications and 16 patients (20\%) that developed severe esophageal strictures. Five of these children required repeat prograde dilatation, while 11 children required gastrostomy and stringing with subsequent retrograde dilatation. All the 11 children required esophageal replacement surgery. The economic and social consequences to the child and family were also noted with particular attention to hospital costs, parental absenteeism from work, and the need for job relocation. A partial cost analysis using a child with a severe injury is presented as an example. Psychological aspects such as attempted murder, jail terms and attempted suicides are also documented. We also present an analysis of those children requiring esophageal replacement surgery, and examine the possible role of esophageal stents in recalcitrant strictures.
This article was published in Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol
and referenced in Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System