Long-term effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the management of pediatric appendicitis


Appendicitis remains a common disease entity in pediatric patients that has historically been treated surgically with appendectomy as the standard of care. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic introduced widespread challenges impacting the management and treatment of various disease processes, including pediatric appendicitis. Many studies demonstrated a decreased incidence in pediatric appendicitis cases, which may be attributable to fears of contracting the COVID-19 virus and restrictions imposed with stay-at-home orders. Many studies have noted both an increase in nonoperative management of pediatric appendicitis and a rise in patients presenting with complicated appendicitis. Additionally, the development of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children that may present with symptoms mimicking appendicitis has created a diagnostic dilemma for pediatric care providers. Understanding the natural history of pediatric appendicitis during the COVID-19 pandemic and additional diagnostic and treatment difficulties are essential to ensure accurate care of pediatric patients that present with abdominal pain concerning for appendicitis.



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