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J Pediatr. 2004 May;144(5):595-601.

Importance of organ dysfunction in determining hospital outcomes in children.

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US Outcomes Research, Lilly Research Laboratories, Indianapolis, Indiana 46285, USA.



To use measures of organ dysfunction derived from administrative data to assess clinical and economic outcomes in hospitalized children.


We used the International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) diagnostic and procedure codes to evaluate organ dysfunction in all patients, excluding neonates, in the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids' Inpatient Database (KID). We adapted consensus clinical definitions to characterize organ dysfunction in terms of degree of impairment, type of organ system involvement, and number of dysfunctional organ systems. Univariate and multivariable models were constructed to determine the impact of organ dysfunction on in-hospital mortality and resource use.


Patients with organ dysfunction (n=51,386) were younger and more often male than those without organ dysfunction, and they had significantly higher in-hospital mortality and resource use. Organ dysfunction, assessed in terms of degree, type, and number of dysfunctional organ systems, was consistently associated with all hospital outcomes. In multivariable models, types of organ system failures were most predictive of in-hospital mortality, whereas degree of organ system involvement allowed for a better assessment of resource use.


Administrative data can be used to characterize multiple dimensions of organ dysfunction in children. Hospitalizations involving organ dysfunction are associated with significant clinical and economic consequences.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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