pediatric housecalls Robert R. Jarrett M.D. M.B.A. FAAP

Tonsillectomy – Complications Of

[A physician requests the source of the statistics used in a prior article.]

On your website, I found this statement: “An analysis of 600,175,729 cases showed a mortality (death rate) of one child per 16,381 operations (0.006%).” I suspect that is true. However, I have had a hard time finding that specific reference. Can you direct me?… Shawn S., MD, Freeport, Illinois

Thanks for responding to my column. To which article are you referring? Tonsillectomy? – if so, that article was originally written about 6 years ago so the figures may need a bit of updating.

Although in a “layperson” type article I couldn’t list the sources like I prefer to in my scientific based articles, information for those articles usually came as I was reading medical journals. I used Pediatrics, Journal of Pediatrics, etc. mingled with official publications & pronouncements of the AAP and AMA with the occasional, applicable other sub-specialty journal as well.

About a year ago, I answered another question on tonsillectomies for a grandmother and did a MEDLINE search to update some figures. Although I can’t remember I most likely went back to the original article and updated the figures (I usually do). 600 million must have been a meta-analysis of some sort.

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