National characteristics of emergency care for children with neurologic complex chronic conditions


National characteristics of emergency care for children with neurologic complex chronic conditions


Jafari K; Carlin K; Caglar D; Klein EJ; Simon TD


Western Journal of Emergency Medicine




Child; child; adult; childhood mortality; controlled study; female; hospital admission; human; major clinical study; male; newborn; retrospective study; chronic disease; young adult; Emergencies; Emergency Medical Services; tracheostomy; Only Child; clinical feature; clinical outcome; cross-sectional study; neurologic disease; adolescent; morbidity; infant; emergency care; Article; medicaid; critical illness; emergency health service; childhood disease; Current Procedural Terminology; endotracheal intubation; medicare; hospital charge; multivariate logistic regression analysis


Abstract Introduction: Most pediatric emergency care occurs in general emergency departments (GED), where less pediatric experience and lower pediatric emergency readiness may compromise care. Medically vulnerable pediatric patients, such as those with chronic, severe, neurologic conditions, are likely to be disproportionately affected by suboptimal care in GEDs; however, little is known about characteristics of their care in either the general or pediatric emergency setting. In this study our objective was to compare the frequency, characteristics, and outcomes of ED visits made by children with chronic neurologic diseases between general and pediatric EDs (PED). Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of the 2011-2014 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) for ED visits made by patients 0-21 years with neurologic complex chronic conditions (neuro CCC). We compared patient, hospital, and ED visits characteristics between GEDs and PEDs using descriptive statistics. We assessed outcomes of admission, transfer, critical procedure performance, and mortality using multivariable logistic regression. Results: There were 387,813 neuro CCC ED visits (0.3% of 0-21-year-old ED visits) in our sample. Care occurred predominantly in GEDs, and visits were associated with a high severity of illness (30.1% highest severity classification score). Compared to GED visits, PED neuro CCC visits were comprised of individuals who were younger, more likely to have comorbid conditions (32.9% vs 21%, P < 0.001), and technology assistance (65.4% vs. 45.9%) but underwent fewer procedures and had lower ED charges ($2,200 vs $1,520, P < 0.001). Visits to PEDs had lower adjusted odds of critical procedures (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.74, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.62-0.87), transfers (aOR 0.14, 95% CI 0.04-0.56), and mortality (aOR 0.38, 95% CI 0.19-0.75) compared to GEDs. Conclusion: Care for children with neuro CCCs in a pediatric ED is associated with less resource utilization and lower rates of transfer and mortality. Identifying features of PED care for neuro CCCs could lead to lower costs and mortality for this population.


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Jafari K; Carlin K; Caglar D; Klein EJ; Simon TD, “National characteristics of emergency care for children with neurologic complex chronic conditions,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed June 15, 2024,