Study: Hospitalized kids suffer too many infections

A new study released this week concludes that hospitalized children suffer a high rate of infections and other preventable complications that lead to longer stays and cost millions of dollars. The study, which appears in this month's issue of the journal Pediatrics, found that some types of complications occurred in as many as 4 percent of children treated at 38 children's hospitals in the U.S., in part because children are three times more susceptible to infections in hospitals than adults.

To conduct the study, researchers looked at medical records from thousands of children hospitalized in 2006, looking for 12 adverse events identified by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. They found that of 430,000 children hospitalized in 2006, more than 6,600 suffered complications caused by their care, including nearly 3,000 cases of infections caused by care. Complications increased lengths of stay from three days for an accidental laceration to 24 days for sepsis. Added costs ranged from $35,000 to $337,000, researchers concluded.

To learn more about the study:
- read this piece in The Seattle Times

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