Objective: To determine which available information at an Emergency Room (ER) consultation is associated with hospitalization or death among children with pneumonia.
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Setting: The ER of one university and one private hospital.
Measurement: Using stepwise logistic regression we analyzed factors that showed a univariate association.
Main results: Of 2,970 cases, the median age was 1.83 years (range 2 days to 14.5 yrs, mean 2.76 +/- 2.72 yrs); 25.8% were hospitalized and 0.8% died. Age (2-11 mos, OR 0.4 [0.2-0.6]; 12-59 mos, OR 0.2 [0.1-0.4]; > or = 5 yrs, OR 0.1 [0.08-0.3]), malnutrition (OR 2.0 [1.4-2.7]), underlying chronic illness (OR 1.4 [1.1-1.8]), tachypnea (OR 1.8 [1.4-2.4]), chest indrawing (OR 1.7 [1.4-2.2]), and somnolence (OR 1.8 [1.4-2.4]) were associated with hospitalization and age (2-11 mos, OR 0.3 [0.08-0.8]; > or = 12 mos, OR 0.06 [0.02-0.2]), malnutrition (OR 3.1 [1.2-7.7]) and underlying chronic illness (OR 4.3 [1.6-11.0]) were associated with death in the multivariate analysis.
Conclusions: Several clinical aspects may be used in assessing need for hospitalization (i.e. young age, malnutrition, underlying chronic illness, tachypnea, chest indrawing and somnolence) for children with pneumonia seen at the ER. Individual intrinsic factors such as age, malnutrition and underlying chronic illness were independently associated with death. Pneumonia should be considered a treatable disease and complete recovery can be achieved in the majority of the cases.