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J Pediatr. 2003 Nov;143(5 Suppl):S142-9.

Complications in infants hospitalized for bronchiolitis or respiratory syncytial virus pneumonia.

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PICU and the Division of Pediatric Critical Care, University of Virginia Children's Medical Center, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.



To characterize complications among infants hospitalized for bronchiolitis or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).


Retrospective data from 684 infants with bronchiolitis or RSV pneumonia, < or =1 year old, admitted to 10 children's hospitals from April 1995 to September 1996. Outcomes included complication rates and effects on hospital and pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) length of stay (LOS) and hospital costs.


Most infants (79%) had one or more complication, with serious complications in 24%. Even minor complications were associated with significantly longer PICU and hospital LOS and higher costs (P<.001). Respiratory complications were most frequent (60%), but infectious (41%), cardiovascular (9%), electrolyte imbalance (19%), and other complications (9%) were common. Complication rates were higher in former premature infants (87%), infants with congenital heart disease (93%), and infants with other congenital abnormalities (90%) relative to infants without risk factors (76%). Infants 33 to 35 weeks gestational age (GA) had the highest complication rates (93%), longer hospital LOS, and higher costs (P<.004) than other former premature infants.


Complications were common in infants hospitalized for bronchiolitis or RSV pneumonia and were associated with longer LOS and higher costs. Former premature infants and infants with congenital abnormalities are at significantly greater risk for complications. Broader use of RSV prevention should be considered for these higher-risk infants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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