Aim: In children with neurological complex chronic conditions (CCC) undergoing hip surgery we aimed to: estimate the rate of postoperative pneumonia, determine the effect of pneumonia on postoperative hospital resource use, and identify predictors of postoperative pneumonia.
Method: A retrospective cohort study was conducted utilizing the Pediatric Health Information System database for 2609 children (1081 females, 1528 males) aged 4 years and older with a neurological CCC who underwent hip surgery (i.e. reconstruction surgery or salvage procedure) between 2016 and 2018 in 41 US children's hospitals. Multivariable, mixed-effects logistic regression was used to assess patient characteristics and risk of pneumonia.
Results: Mean age at hip surgery was 10 years 1 month (SD 4y 8mo). The postoperative pneumonia rate was 1.6% (n=42). Median length of stay (LOS) was longer for children with pneumonia and the 30-day all-cause unplanned readmission rate and costs were higher. Variability in rates of pneumonia ranged from 1.1% to 2.8% across hospitals. Significant predictors of postoperative pneumonia were osteotomy type (p=0.005) and number of chronic conditions (p≤0.001).
Interpretation: Postoperative pneumonia after hip surgery in children with a neurological CCC is associated with longer LOS, readmissions, and higher costs. Children undergoing pelvic osteotomies and who have multimorbidity need additional clinical support to prevent postoperative pneumonia and decrease resource utilization.
What this paper adds: Pneumonia is a major postoperative complication in children with neurological complex chronic conditions (CCC). Forty-two (1.6%) children with neurological CCC developed pneumonia after hip surgery. Length of stay, readmissions, and costs were significantly higher in the group with pneumonia. Variability in pneumonia rates existed across hospitals. Predictors of developing pneumonia include osteotomy type and number of CCC.
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