Pediatric Emergency Department Use by Adults With Chronic Pediatric Disorders

Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84158, USA.
JAMA Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 5.73). 06/2010; 164(6):572-6. DOI: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.60
Source: PubMed


To describe pediatric emergency department use by adults with chronic pediatric disorders, known as transition patients.
Retrospective descriptive study.
The pediatric emergency department of a tertiary care pediatric hospital during calendar year 2005.
All patients presenting to the pediatric emergency department during the study period.
Association of presenting complaint with the patient's chronic pediatric disorder, emergency department interventions and dispositions, and duration of inpatient admissions.
Patient encounters totaled 43 621, with 445 (1%) involving adult patients. Transition patients accounted for 197 (44%) of the adult encounters. Eighty-nine transition patient encounters (45%) were for complaints unrelated to the patients' chronic pediatric disorders. Only 14 (7%) transition patient visits did not involve diagnostic studies or procedures. Transition patients were 2.1 times (95% confidence interval, 1.8-2.5; P < .001) more likely to require admission than pediatric patients and were 4.5 times (95% confidence interval, 3.3-6.1; P < .001) more likely to require intensive care. Median length of stay for admitted transition patients was 4 days (range, 1-35 days) compared with 2 days (range, 1-80 days) for pediatric patients (P < .001).
A substantial number of adult patients with chronic pediatric disorders use the pediatric emergency department and often present with complaints unrelated to their pediatric conditions. They have high rates of hospital and intensive care unit admissions. Pediatric hospitals should be prepared with adequate resources and training to deal with these complex adult patients.

5 Reads
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To describe the characteristics of emergency department (ED) patients defined as frequent presenters (FP) presenting to an Australian emergency department network and compare these with a cohort of non-frequent presenters (NFP). A retrospective chart review utilising an electronic emergency medicine patient medical record database was performed on patients presenting to Southern Health EDs from March 2009 to March 2010. Non-frequent presenters were defined as patients presenting less than 5 times and frequent presenters as presenting 8 or more times in the study period. Characteristics of both groups were described and compared. During the 12-month study period there were 540 FP patients with 4549 admissions and 73,089 NFP patients with 100,943 admissions. FP patients were slightly older with a significant increase in frequency of patients between the ages of 70 to 79 years and they were more likely to be divorced or separated than NFP patients. Frequent presenters to the emergency department were more likely to utilise the ambulance service to arrive at the hospital, or in the custody of police than NFP patients. FPs were more likely to be admitted to hospital, more likely to have an admission to a mental health bed than NFP patients and more likely to self-discharge from the emergency department while waiting for care. There are major implications for the utilisation of limited ED resources by frequent presenters. By further understanding the characteristics of FP we may be able to address the specific health care needs of this population in more efficient and cost effective ways. Further research analysing the effectiveness of targeted multidisciplinary interventions aiming to reduce the frequency of ED attendances may be warranted.
    BMC Emergency Medicine 12/2011; 11:21. DOI:10.1186/1471-227X-11-21
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite numerous policy statements and an increased focus on transition of care, little is known about young adults who experience delayed transition to adult providers. We used cross-sectional data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey between 1998 and 2008 to examine delayed transition among young adults ages 22 to 30. We defined delayed transition as continuing to visit a pediatrician after the age of 21 years. Overall, we found that 1.3% (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1-1.7) of visits by young adults to primary care physicians were seen by pediatricians, approximately 445,000 visits per year. We did not find a significant change in delayed transition during the past decade (β = -.01; P = .77). Among young adults, visits to pediatricians were more likely than visits to adult-focused providers to be for a chronic disease (25.7% vs 12.6%; P = .002) and more likely to be billed to public health insurance (23.5% vs 14.1%; P = .01). In adjusted models, visits by young adults to pediatric healthcare providers were more likely associated with chronic disease (adjusted relative risk [ARR] 2.2; 95% CI 1.5-3.4), with public health insurance (ARR 1.9; 95% CI 1.3-2.9), or with no health insurance (ARR 1.9; 95% CI 1.1-3.4). Although most young adult visits were to adult providers, a considerable number of visits were to pediatricians, indicating delayed transition of care. There has been no substantial change in delayed transition during the past decade. Visits by young adults with chronic disease, public health insurance, or no health insurance were more likely to experience delayed transition of care.
    Academic pediatrics 06/2012; 12(5):405-11. DOI:10.1016/j.acap.2012.04.002 · 2.01 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Growing numbers of persons with childhood-onset chronic illnesses are surviving to adulthood. Many use pediatric hospitals for their inpatient needs. To our knowledge, the prevalence and characteristics of adult pediatric intensive care unit patients have not been reported. OBJECTIVES To estimate the proportion of adults admitted to pediatric intensive care units (PICUs), characterize them, and compare them with older adolescents. DESIGN One-year cross-sectional analysis. SETTING Pediatric intensive care units in the United States that participated in the Virtual Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Systems. PARTICIPANTS Pediatric intensive care unit patients 15 years or older admitted in 2008. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES We compared adults with adolescents across clinical characteristics and outcomes. Mixed-effects logistic regression was used to estimate the independent association of age with PICU mortality. RESULTS Seventy PICUs had 67 629 admissions; 1954 admissions (2.7%) were patients 19 years or older; and 9105 admissions (13.5%) were patients aged 15 to 18 years. The proportion of adults (≥19 years) varied considerably by PICU (range, 0%-9.2%). As age increased, the proportion of patients who had a complex chronic condition and planned or perioperative admissions increased; the proportion of trauma-related admissions decreased. Patients aged 21 to 29 years had a 2 times (95% CI, 1.3-3.2; P = .004) greater odds of PICU mortality compared with adolescent patients, after adjusting for Paediatric Index of Mortality score, sex, trauma, and having a complex chronic condition. Being 30 years or older was associated with a 3.5 (95% CI, 1.3-9.7; P = .01) greater odds of mortality. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE In this multi-institutional study, adults constituted a small but high-risk proportion of patients in some PICUs, suggesting that these PICUs should have plans and protocols specifically focused on this group.
    03/2013; 167(5):1-8. DOI:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.1316
Show more