The epidemiology of pediatric visits to New Jersey general emergency departments

Pediatr Emerg Care. 1998 Apr;14(2):112-5. doi: 10.1097/00006565-199804000-00006.


Objective: To describe the epidemiology of pediatric visits to the emergency departments (EDs) of 10 general hospitals by age and gender.

Design: Review of ICD-9 codes from the billing database of a practice of emergency physicians.

Setting: Ten hospitals in north/central New Jersey.

Patients: All children <18 years treated by group physicians in EDs of study hospitals.

Interventions: None.

Main outcome measures: Diagnoses and visits.

Results: There were 319,430 diagnoses recorded for 241,839 children (18.9% of the 1,277,233 total visits by all ages). The number of visits was highest in the <2 and >14 years age groups, with males predominating in all age groups. The number of visits from trauma increased with age. Otitis accounted for over 3% of all ED visits in this sample, over 7000 visits.

Conclusions: Children account for a significant portion of ED visits in general hospitals. EDs need to be equipped and staffed to handle this clientele.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Asthma / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • New Jersey
  • Otitis Media / epidemiology
  • Pediatrics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sex Distribution
  • United States
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology