Clean Cut for Cleft is part of the Smile Train-Lifebox Safe Surgery and Anesthesia Initiative and is an adaptation of the Lifebox Clean Cut program specifically for cleft patients. This joint venture will decrease complications caused by surgery for cleft patients by helping us to see the gaps we are facing in safe surgical care and implementing quality improvement measures to make surgery safer.
When it comes to surgery on children, the margin of error that can bring a child’s life to an end is very narrow. We really have to be very cautious when we do these kinds of pediatric procedures because they are more prone to complications. There is a higher risk of complications on surgery in children than compared to adults, and when it comes to patients with clefts – the majority of which are children – because they have difficulty feeding they tend to be underweight and compromised nutritionally. The fact that the surgical field is on the airway and shared with the anesthesia team will make cleft patients even more prone to complications in the intraoperative and immediate postoperative period. This has a negative impact on the surgical outcome. Part of this work is to address these problems as much as possible to strengthen the child before the surgery.