Congenital diaphragmatic hernia: a 20 year experience

J N Simson, H B Eckstein
British Journal of Surgery 1985, 72 (9): 733-6
The records of 253 children with congenital diaphragmatic hernia admitted to The Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, between 1961 and 1980 were analysed. The overall mortality of 37 per cent is greater than that reported in the preceding 13 years from the same institution, and showed no improvement over the 20 years. While there was no significant increase in the number of admissions over the study period, the proportion of children who underwent surgery within the first 6 h of life steadily increased from 13 per cent in the first five years to 39 per cent in the last five years. The mortality of this group (65 per cent) did not improve over the study period and this would account for the lack of improvement in the overall survival figures. However, analysis of birth weights, onset and severity of signs and lung weights indicates that the increasing number of early admissions was due to speedier transfer rather than to referral of more severely affected children in the later years.

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