Prospective validation of an abbreviated bedrest protocol in the management of blunt spleen and liver injury in children

Document Type



Paediatric Surgery


Purpose: The aim of this study was to validate the safety, and quantify the impact of, an abbreviated protocol for blunt spleen/liver injury (BSLI), we instituted a prospective study with early ambulation.
Methods: Following institutional review board approval, data were collected prospectively in all patients with BSLI up to 8 weeks after discharge. There were no exclusion criteria, and patient accrual was consecutive. Bedrest was restricted to 1 night for grade I and II injuries and 2 nights for grade III or higher.
Results: A total of 131 patients with BSLI were enrolled. Injuries included isolated spleen in 72 (55%), liver only in 55 (42%), and both in 4 (3%). One splenectomy was required for a grade 5 injury. Transfusions were used in 24 patients, with 18 patients undergoing transfusion because of injured solid organ. Bedrest was applicable to 110 patients (84%), for which the mean grade of injury was 2.6 and mean bedrest was 1.6 days. The need for bedrest was the limiting factor for length of stay in 86 patients (66%). There were 2 deaths, and no patients were readmitted.
Conclusions: An abbreviated protocol of 1 night of bedrest for grade I and II injuries and 2 nights for grade III or higher can be safely used, resulting in dramatic decreases in hospitalization compared with the current American Pediatric Surgical Association recommendations.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Pediatric Surgery