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Top 10 Reasons For Pediatric Hospitalizations

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 15, 2011

But compared with all hospitalizations in 2009, a child's average hospital stay is shorter – 3.8 days versus 4.6 days – and less expensive – $5,200 versus $9,200.

There were two significant reasons in categories of hospitalization for children, the agency reported. Discharges for ear, nose, mouth, and throat conditions increased from 16.6 per 10,000 children in 2006 to 19.6 per 10,000 in 2009. And the rate for discharges for skin and subcutaneous tissue increased significantly between 2000 and 2006 but not between 2006 and 2009.

The top 10 major diagnostic categories for hospital stays in children during 2009, which totalled 6.4 million,  break down like this:

1. Respiratory system, including pneumonia, asthma, and acute bronchitis – 510,000.

2. Digestive system – 266,000
 
3. Nervous System – 172,000
 
4. Adolescent pregnancy – 155,000

5. Mental disorders, including mood disorders – 144,000

6. Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic – 139,000

7. Ear, nose, mouth and throat – 138,000
 
8. Musculoskeletal system – 128,000
 
9. Skin and subcutaneous tissue – 93,000

10. Infectious and parasitic diseases – 89,000

While prophylactic vaccinations and circumcision topped the list of procedures performed on children in U.S. hospitals in 2009, 226,700 procedures involved respiratory intubation and mechanical ventilation and 165,100 involved enteral and parenteral nutrition. Blood transfusions given to children numbered 109,400.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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