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Pediatrics. 2007 Apr;119(4):679-83.

Do all infants with apparent life-threatening events need to be admitted?

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Division of Emergency and Transport Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, 4650 Sunset Blvd, MS 113, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA.

Erratum in

  • Pediatrics. 2007 Jun;119(6):1270.



The goal was to identify criteria that would allow low-risk infants presenting with an apparent life-threatening event to be discharged safely from the emergency department.


We completed data forms prospectively on all previously healthy patients <12 months of age presenting to the emergency department of an urban tertiary care children's hospital with an apparent life-threatening event over a 3-year period. These patients were then observed for subsequent events, significant interventions, or final diagnoses that would have mandated their admission (eg, sepsis).


In our population of 59 infants, all 8 children who met the aforementioned outcome measures, thus requiring admission, either had experienced multiple apparent life-threatening events before presentation or were in their first month of life. In our study group, the high-risk criteria of age of <1 month [corrected] and multiple apparent life-threatening events yielded a negative predictive value of 100% to identify the need for hospital admission.


Our study suggests that >30-day-old infants who have experienced a single apparent life-threatening event may be discharged safely from the hospital, which would decrease admissions by 38%.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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