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Medical injuries among hospitalized children
  1. J R Meurer1,3,
  2. H Yang2,3,
  3. C E Guse2,3,
  4. M C Scanlon1,
  5. P M Layde2,3,
  6. the Wisconsin Medical Injury Prevention Program Research Group
  1. 1Department of Pediatrics and Children’s Research Institute, Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, WI, USA
  2. 2Department of Family and Community Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, WI, USA
  3. 3Injury Research Center, Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, WI, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Associate Professor J R Meurer
 Medical College of Wisconsin, 1020 N 12th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233, USA; jmeurer{at}mcw.edu

Abstract

Background: Inpatient medical injuries among children are common and result in a longer stay in hospital and increased hospital charges. However, previous studies have used screening criteria that focus on inpatient occurrences only rather than on injuries that also occur in ambulatory or community settings leading to hospital admission.

Objective: To describe the incidence and outcomes of medical injuries among children hospitalized in Wisconsin using the Wisconsin Medical Injury Prevention Program (WMIPP) screening criteria.

Methods: Cross sectional analysis of discharge records of 318 785 children from 134 hospitals in Wisconsin between 2000 and 2002.

Results: The WMIPP criteria identified 3.4% of discharges as having one or more medical injuries: 1.5% due to medications, 1.3% to procedures, and 0.9% to devices, implants and grafts. After adjusting for the All Patient Refined-Diagnosis Related Groups disease category, illness severity, mortality risk, and clustering within hospitals, the mean length of stay (LOS) was a half day (12%) longer for patients with medical injuries than for those without injuries. The similarly adjusted mean total hospital charges were $1614 (26%) higher for the group with medical injuries. Excess LOS and charges were greatest for injuries due to genitourinary devices/implants, vascular devices, and infections/inflammation after procedures.

Conclusions: This study reinforces previous national findings up to 2000 using Wisconsin data to the end of 2002. The results suggest that hospitals and pediatricians should focus clinical improvement on medications, procedures, and devices frequently associated with medical injuries and use medical injury surveillance to track medical injury rates in children.

  • AHRQ, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • APR-DRG, All Patient Refined-Diagnosis Related Groups
  • LOS, length of stay
  • PSI, patient safety indicator
  • WMIPP, Wisconsin Medical Injury Prevention Program
  • medical injuries
  • hospitalization
  • children
  • AHRQ, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • APR-DRG, All Patient Refined-Diagnosis Related Groups
  • LOS, length of stay
  • PSI, patient safety indicator
  • WMIPP, Wisconsin Medical Injury Prevention Program
  • medical injuries
  • hospitalization
  • children

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Footnotes

  • This research project was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality grant U18-HS11893 to the Medical College of Wisconsin. 3M Health Information Systems granted the All Patient Refined-Diagnosis Related Groups software license. This work was partially supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant R49/CCR519614.

  • Competing interests: none.

  • The authors are solely responsible for the design, conduct, and analysis of the study and development of this manuscript.

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