Predictors of death from severe pneumonia among children 2-59 months old hospitalized in Bohol, Philippines: implications for referral criteria at a first-level health facility

Trop Med Int Health. 2007 Aug;12(8):962-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2007.01872.x.


Objective: To determine predictors of death among children 2-59 months old admitted to hospital with severe pneumonia.

Methods: Prospective observational study from April 1994 to May 2000 to investigate serious infections in children less than 5 years old admitted to a tertiary care government hospital in a rural province in central Philippines. The quality of clinical and laboratory work was monitored. The WHO classification for severe pneumonia was used for patient enrolment.

Results: There were 1249 children with severe pneumonia and no CNS infection. Thirty children died. Using univariate analysis, the following factors were significantly associated with death: age 2-5 months, dense infiltrates on chest radiography and presence of definite bacterial pathogens in the blood. Stepwise logistic regression analysis revealed the following independent predictors of death: age 2-5 months, weight for age z-score less than -2 SD, dense infiltrates on chest radiography and definite pathogens isolated in the blood. When the results of chest radiographs and blood cultures were not included to mimic facilities available at first-level facilities, age 2-5 months and weight for age z-score less than -2 SD remained independent predictors of death.

Conclusion: When resources are limited, children with lower chest wall indrawing (severe pneumonia) who are 2-5 months old or moderately to severely malnourished should be referred for immediate higher-level care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Philippines / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia / mortality*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate