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Study: Antibiotics, a safe alternative for treating Appendicitis in kids

A new study has found that an I-V infusion of antibiotics in children could treat appendicitis, instead of surgery. Officials have made the option available at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, after the research was published in the journal JAMA surgery.

The study in the United States found that children who underwent treatment with antibiotics had better outcomes, compared to those who underwent surgery. The antibiotics worked in 28 of 37 children, with a success rate of 76 percent after one year. It was also found that those who had an ineffective regimen of antibiotics did not have complicated appendicitis. About 65 additional patients who were a part of the study, opted for immediate surgery.

“When chosen by the family, nonoperative management with antibiotics alone is an effective treatment strategy for children with uncomplicated appendicitis,” wrote the authors.

Minneci, M.D, M.H.Sc., and Katherine J. Deans, M.D, M.H.Sc., of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, and her team studied the overall effectiveness of nonoperative management for acute uncomplicated pediatric appendicitis. Minneci said the antibiotic treatment is a reasonable treatment option to both kids and adults. But, the choice of treatment depends on what is best for the patient, she added.

Dr. Deans said that with surgery patients take time for recovery, pain and a five to ten percent risk of complications. But they don’t have to worry about recurrences. The study authors found that patients with parents or guardians who spoke a primary language other than English were more likely to opt for antibiotic treatment. They consider surgery to be the last resort in Somali and other immigrant communities. Though appendicitis is more common in the second decade of life, it can occur at any age. Minneci thinks that the study can also be applied to adults. The authors have called for further study as some parents are concerned about appendicitis coming back.

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