Events of hospitalization among children with sickle cell disease.J Pediatr Nurs. 2007 Aug; 22(4):342-6.JP
Previous research has identified vaso-occlusive pain crisis as the most common reason for hospitalization among pediatric patients with sickle cell disease. We sought to identify contributors to hospitalization and length of stay (LOS) for this patient population. A descriptive design was used to determine factors associated with hospitalization and LOS for patients with sickle cell disease at an urban tertiary care pediatric hospital in the Midwest. Sickle cell disease as a principal or secondary diagnosis during calendar year 2003 was used to identify patients for study inclusion. Data were collected from subjects' medical records and the hospital accounting system. 72 African American subjects, ranging in age from infant to 24 years (mean = 10.3) met study inclusion criteria, and accounted for 186 hospitalizations. Sickle cell pain crisis was the most common diagnosis associated with hospitalization (n = 122). Adolescent age was significantly associated with longer LOS (r = .451; p<.001), and females stayed on average 2.1 days longer than male subjects (p = .001). Age and gender appear to be associated with LOS in pediatric patients with sickle cell disease, although specific factors underlying these findings remain unclear. Further research is necessary to determine how the complex interplay of social, cultural, developmental, and physiologic factors may contribute to the hospitalization experience of children and adolescents with sickle cell disease.