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Foley catheters are not routinely necessary in children treated with patient-controlled analgesia following perforated appendicitis.

BACKGROUND: Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) is often used in children with perforated appendicitis. To prevent urinary retention, some providers also routinely place Foley catheters. This study examines the necessity of this practice.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed all children (≤18 years old) with perforated appendicitis and postoperative PCA from 7/2015 to 6/2016 at two academic children's hospitals. Urinary retention was defined as the inability to spontaneously void requiring straight catheterization or placement of a Foley catheter.

RESULTS: Of 313 patients who underwent appendectomy for perforated appendicitis (Hospital 1: 175, Hospital 2: 138), 129 patients received an intraoperative Foley (Hospital 1: 22 [13%], Hospital 2: 107 [78%], p < 0.001). Age, gender, and BMI were similar between those with an intraoperative Foley and those without. There were no urinary tract infections in either group. Urinary retention rate in patients with an intraoperative Foley following removal on the inpatient unit (n = 3, 2%) and patients without an intraoperative Foley (n = 10, 5%) did not reach significance (p = 0.25). On univariate analysis, demographics, intraoperative findings, PCA specifics, postoperative abscess formation, and postoperative length of stay, were not significant risk factors for urinary retention.

CONCLUSIONS: The risk of urinary retention in this population is low despite the use of PCA. Children with perforated appendicitis do not require routine Foley catheter placement to prevent urinary retention.


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