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Awareness and management of intra-abdominal hypertension and abdominal compartment syndrome by paediatric intensive care physicians: a national survey.

INTRODUCTION: This study aimed to evaluate the current awareness and management of intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) among paediatric intensivists.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A web-based electronic survey was sent to all physicians working in paedia-tric intensive care units (PICUs) in Saudi Arabia. The survey questions obtained information regarding awareness of ACS and IAH, recognition criteria, monitoring of intra-abdominal pressure (IAP), and experience in managing ACS.

RESULTS: A total of 79 physicians responded to the survey (response rate: 53%). Among respondents 48% were consultants. 85% of respondents were familiar with IAP/IAH/ACS. Only 35% and 10% were aware of the Abdominal Compartment Society consensus definitions for IAH and ACS in the paediatric population, respectively. Most respondents considered the cut-off for IAH to be ≥ 15 mm Hg, and approximately two-thirds thought that the cut-off for ACS was higher than the currently suggested consensus definition (10 mm Hg). More than two-thirds of respondents monitored IAP in the PICU, and it was measured almost exclusively via the bladder (96%); the majority (70%) reported that they instilled volumes well above the current recommendations. Medical management was the most frequent therapeutic approach to treat IAH/ACS, while surgical decompression was the least attempted option. Decisions to decompress the abdomen were predominantly based on the presence of organ dysfunction (74.4%).

CONCLUSIONS: This survey showed that although most responding physicians claim to be familiar with IAH and ACS, their knowledge of published consensus definitions, measurement techniques, and clinical management must be updated.

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