Management of Paediatric Testicular Torsion - Are we adhering to Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) recommendations

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IntroductionIn 2015, the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS) commissioned the East Midlands Clinical Network to develop a set of guidelines for the management of paediatric torsion. Two quality measures identified were the provision of surgery locally where possible and 100% of explorations within three hours. We sought to assess the adherence to these quality measures within our referral network.Materials and methodsRetrospective data were collected for all paediatric scrotal explorations performed within our centre between January 2014 and July 2016. Patient demographics, sources of referral, transfer times, time to surgery and operative findings were obtained.ResultsA total of 100 patients underwent a scrotal exploration. Median age at presentation was 11 years (range 4 months to 15 years). Fifty-three per cent of referrals were from network hospitals. The median duration of symptoms was 25 hours (range 1-210 hours). The median transfer time from local centres was 120 minutes (range 45-540 minutes). The median time to theatre from the decision being made to operate was 60 minutes (range 30-600 minutes). Eighty-seven per cent of cases were explored within three hours. There were 13 cases of torsion with one orchidectomy. When taking into account the transfer time for external patients aged over five years without precluding comorbidities, exploration within three hours dropped to 18 of 46 (39%).ConclusionThe RCS guidelines recognise the need for specialist input in very young patients. A large proportion of explorations are, however, currently taking place in older patients with unacceptably long transfer times. We propose an extension of this review nationally to work towards the local provision of care for suitable patients.

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