Characterisation of children hospitalised with pneumonia in central Vietnam: a prospective study.

Affiliation

Discipline of Child and Adolescent Health, Sydney Medical School, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia [Email]

Abstract

Pneumonia is the most common reason for paediatric hospital admission in Vietnam. The potential value of using the World Health Organization (WHO) case management approach in Vietnam has not been documented.We performed a prospective descriptive study of all children (2-59 months) admitted with "pneumonia" (as assessed by the admitting clinician) to the Da Nang Hospital for Women and Children to characterise their disease profiles and assess risk factors for an adverse outcome. The disease profile was classified using WHO pneumonia criteria, with tachypnoea or chest indrawing as defining clinical signs. Adverse outcome was defined as death, intensive care unit admission, tertiary care transfer or hospital stay >10 days.Of 4206 admissions, 1758 (41.8%) were classified as "no pneumonia" using WHO criteria and only 252 (6.0%) met revised criteria for "severe pneumonia". The inpatient death rate was low (0.4% of admissions) with most deaths (11 out of 16; 68.8%) occurring in the "severe pneumonia" group. An adverse outcome was recorded in 18.7% of all admissions and 60.7% of the "severe pneumonia" group. Children were hospitalised for a median of 7 days at an average cost of 253 USD per admission. Risk factors for adverse outcome included WHO-classified "severe pneumonia", age <1 year, low birth weight, previous recent admission with an acute respiratory infection and recent tuberculosis exposure. Breastfeeding, day-care attendance and pre-admission antibiotic use were associated with reduced risk.Few hospital admissions met WHO criteria for "severe pneumonia", suggesting potential unnecessary hospitalisation and use of intravenous antibiotics. Better characterisation of the underlying diagnosis requires careful consideration.

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