Background: Day hospital (DH) management for patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) experiencing uncomplicated vaso-occlusive pain crises has been utilized as an alternative care delivery system to inpatient hospitalization. The objective of this study was to determine whether DH management results in shorter length of stay compared to inpatient care.
Procedure: We conducted a retrospective cohort study with 35 DH admissions and 35 inpatient admissions for children with SCD presenting with uncomplicated vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs). A DH admission was defined as a minimum of two consecutive days of aggressive pain management as an outpatient, including intravenous hydration and analgesics, supported by home treatment over night with oral analgesic and anti-inflammatory agents. We gathered data on demographics, pain scores, length of stay, admission charges, and needs for persistent care.
Results: DH care resulted in a 39% reduction of the average length of stay compared to inpatient admissions. Multivariate linear regression demonstrated that the location of patient care for VOCs was a significant predictor of length of stay (P < 0.0006) after controlling for patient characteristics, severity of illness, and disease history.
Conclusions: We conclude that a dedicated DH facility has the potential to provide efficient and timely management of uncomplicated VOCs through reduction of length of stay. This delivery care system may be particularly relevant for children who are significantly impacted by inpatient hospitalization.
(c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.