ACS NSQIP develops pediatric surgical risk calculator



There is an increased desire of patients and families to be involved in the surgical decision making process. A surgeon’s ability to provide patients and families with patient-specific estimates of postoperative complications is critical for shared decision making and informed consent. Surgeons can also use patient-specific risk estimates to decide whether or not to operate and what options to give to patients. Our objective was to develop and evaluate a publicly available risk estimation tool that would cover many common pediatric surgical procedures across all specialties.

Study Design
ACS NSQIP Pediatric standardized data from 67 hospitals were used to develop a risk estimation tool. Surgeons enter 18 preoperative variables (demographics, comorbidities, procedure) that are used in a logistic regression model to predict nine postoperative outcomes. A surgeon adjustment score is also incorporated to adjust for any additional risk not accounted for in the 18 risk factors.

A pediatric surgical risk calculator was developed based on 181,353 cases covering 382 CPT codes across all specialties. It had excellent discrimination for mortality (c-statistic=0.98), morbidity (c-statistic=0.81), and 7 additional complications (c-statistics>0.77). The HL statistic and graphical representations also showed excellent calibration.

The ACS NSQIP Pediatric Surgical Risk Calculator was developed using standardized and audited, multi-institutional data from the ACS NSQIP Pediatric and provides empirically derived, patient-specific postoperative risks. It can be used as a tool in the shared decision making process by providing clinicians, families, and patients with useful information for many of the most common operations performed on pediatric patients in the U.S.

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