Surgical treatment of necrotizing pneumonia in children: a 10-year assessment

ABSTRACT Objective: Necrotizing pneumonia (PNZ) is a severe and rare complication of a community-acquired pneumonia, affecting mainly children. We aimed to analyze medical records of children undergoing surgical treatment for PNZ and compare our results with those found in the medical literature. Methods: Retrospective analysis of children’s medical charts who underwent an operation for PNZ, between July 2006 and July 2016, in two hospitals in southern Santa Catarina, Brazil. Results: A total of 26 children with a median age of 2.70 years and mostly females (61.5%) were included in the current study. The main symptoms were fever (88.5%) and cough (65.4%). There was an average use of 4.31 antibiotics per patient. The primary etiological agent was Staphylococcus aureus (23.1%), but cultures were negative in 69% of the patients. Decortication and debridement of necrotic areas were performed in 23 patients (88.5%). The mean postoperative pleural drainage was 8.12 days. The presence of bronchopleural fistula occurred in 50.0% in the preoperative period and 46.2% in the postoperative. The total length of hospital stay was, on average, 27.52 days and the postoperative length of stay was 12.60 days (mean). Postoperative complications occurred in 13 children and there was no mortality. Conclusion: The surgical approach is indicated to patients with no response to clinical treatment. Late surgical intervention is associated with progressive parenchyma infection and higher rates of complications. Surgery can lead to better clinical outcomes and earlier recovery.