OBJECTIVE. Our objective in this report was to describe the epidemiologic features of and workload associated with pediatric admissions to 12 US Army military hospitals deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. METHODS. The Patient Administration Systems and Biostatistics Activity database was queried for all local national patients <18 years of age who were admitted to deployed Army hospitals in Afghanistan and Iraq between December 2001 and December 2004. RESULTS. Pediatric admissions during the study period were 1012 (4.2%) of 24 227 admissions, occupying 10% of all bed-days. The median length of stay was 4 days (interquartile range: 1-8 days). The largest proportion of children were 11 to 17 years of age (332 of 757 children; 44%), although 45 (6%) of 757 children hospitalized were <1 year of age. The majority (63%) of pediatric patients admitted required either general surgical or orthopedic procedures. The in-hospital mortality rate for all pediatric patients was 59 (5.8%) of 1012 patients, compared with 274 (4.5%) of 6077 patients for all adult non-US coalition patients. CONCLUSIONS. Pediatric patients with injuries threatening life, limb, or eyesight are part of the primary responsibility of military medical facilities during combat and have accounted for a significant number of admissions and hospital bed-days in deployed Army hospitals in Afghanistan and Iraq. Military medical planners must continue to improve pediatric medical support, including personnel, equipment, and medications that are necessary to treat children injured during combat operations, as well as those for whom the existing host nation medical infrastructure is unable to provide care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health