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  1. Kam Uppell
  1. Correspondence to Kam Uppell; kuppell{at}

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Perioperative dexamethasone and bleeding in children ­undergoing tonsillectomy

Perioperative dexamethasone administered to children undergoing a tonsillectomy is not associated with excessive, clinically significant bleeding events, according to a study published in JAMA. Explaining the rationale for the study the researchers say that although corticosteroids are commonly given to children during a tonsillectomy to reduce nausea and vomiting there is concern they might increase the risk of perioperative and postoperative haemorrhage.

In a multicentre, double-blind, placebo-controlled study 314 children (aged 3–18 years) were randomised to receive perioperative dexamethasone or placebo. The main outcome was the rate and severity of post-tonsillectomy haemorrhage (using a bleeding severity scale) in the 14 days following surgery. Bleeding events were reported in 17 children (10.8%) in the dexamethasone group and in 13 patients (8.2%) in the …

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  • Editor's note: This is a new feature which we hope will be regularly seen in the European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.