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J Pediatr. 2010 Aug;157(2):209-214.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.02.006. Epub 2010 Mar 24.

Scope and impact of early and late preterm infants admitted to the PICU with respiratory illness.

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  • 1Section of Critical Care, University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine, University of Colorado, Denver, CO, USA.



To determine the clinical course and outcomes of children born early preterm (EPT, <32 weeks), late preterm (LPT, 32 to 35 weeks), and full term (FT, >or=36 weeks) who were subsequently admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) with respiratory illness.


Retrospective chart review of patients <2 years old admitted to a tertiary PICU with respiratory illness.


Two hundred seventy-one patients met inclusion criteria: 17.3% were EPT, 12.2% were LPT, and 70.5% were FT. Lower respiratory tract infection was the most common diagnosis (55%) for all groups. Median PICU length of stay was longer for EPT (6.3 days) and LPT infants (7.1 days) compared with FT infants (3.7 days; P < .03 for both comparisons). EPT and LPT infants had longer hospital stays (median, 11.7 and 13.8 days, respectively) compared with FT infants (median, 7.1 days; P < .03 and P = .004, respectively). Median hospital charges were also greater for EPT ($85 151) and LPT ($83 576) groups compared with FT group ($55 122; P < .01 and P < .02, respectively).


EPT and LPT infants comprise a considerable proportion of PICU admissions for respiratory illness and have greater resource utilization than FT infants.

Copyright (c) 2010 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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