Background/Purpose: A non-standardized approach to caring for infants after pyloromyotomy for pyloric stenosis was associated with prolonged postoperative length of stay (pLOS) at our institution. We studied the impact of a standardized postoperative care protocol on pLOS, patients' clinical course, and nursing care. Methods: A retrospective chart review identified that 27% of infants who underwent uncomplicated pyloromyotomy had prolonged pLOS, defined as more than one postoperative midnight. A comprehensive postoperative care protocol was developed for infants undergoing pyloromyotomy. Patients were recruited prospectively and those with complications were excluded. A sample size of 70 in each cohort (historic and prospective) allowed 80% power to detect a 50% reduction in the proportion of patients with prolonged pLOS (α = 0.05). The prospective group and historic cohort were compared using nonparametric statistics. Results: The historic cohort had 70 patients and the prospective cohort had 66. Protocol implementation resulted in fewer patients with prolonged pLOS, shorter time to feeds, fewer feeds to discharge, less emesis, and improved nursing documentation. Conclusion: Implementation of a postoperative care protocol improved various aspects of patient care and nursing care studied. Protocols outline a patient's course and serve as a common platform for communication among care providers; they can facilitate, expedite, and enhance patient care.
- Length of stay
- Nursing care
- Postoperative care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health