Yearly rise in emergency admissions for kids in England since 2003
The number of children admitted to hospital as emergencies has steadily increased every year since 2003, with the largest rises seen among the under 5s, indicates research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.
Common infections account for much of this rise, say the authors, who suggest this indicates a "systematic failure in the NHS" to assess children with acute illness that could be better managed by family doctors, out of hours services, and the telephone advice service NHS Direct rather than hospitals.
The authors base their findings on hospital admission rates among the under 15s in England and national population estimates for the years 1999 to 2010 inclusive.
During this period, the emergency admissions rate among children rose by 28% from 63 per 1000 of the population in 1999 to 81 per 1000 of the population in 2010.
The greatest rise in emergency admissions was among the under 5s, with admissions among children under 12 months rising by 52% and those for children aged 1 to 4 rising by 25%.
In 2010 two thirds (68%) of emergency admissions were among the under 5s, among whom admission rates have steadily risen by around 3% a year, the figures show.
Projected population increases suggest that by 2020, some 731,000 under 5s will be admitted as emergencies on the basis of current trends. That's 230,000 more than the current figures, say the authors.
Emergency admissions for other age groups have also increased substantially, they say.
And while the number of admissions lasting just a couple of days fell slightly, this was more than offset by a doubling in the number of admissions lasting less than a day, from 18 per 1000 of the population to 37, the figures show.
Analysis of the types of condition prompting admission, showed that many of these were common infections that could have been managed in the community and probably did not need hospital treatment, say the authors.
Between 1999 and 2010, admission rates for long term conditions (asthma, diabetes, and epilepsy) fell by 5.6%. But acute infections of the upper respiratory tract rose by 22%, those of the lower respiratory tract by 40%, those for the urinary tract by 43% and those of the gut by 31%.
These figures do not reflect increases in the numbers of very sick children, the authors point out: deaths among children aged 1-14 years fell 36% in England and Wales between 1999 and 2010.
Other researchers have blamed the figures on the changes to the family doctors' contract in 2004, which allowed GPs to opt out of providing out of hours care, say the authors.
"The increasing admission of children for very short term care, particularly for acute infections, certainly suggests a reluctance of primary care to observe and manage sick children with self-limiting infections in the community," they write.
But other changes may also have contributed to the rises, they suggest. These include lower referral thresholds, increasingly anxious parents, and an increasing reluctance among doctors to accept risk, coupled with their increasing inability to triage effectively.
And factors such as the four hour wait target in emergency care and financial incentives and payment tariffs that reward admissions may also have played their part, the authors say.
More information: doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2012-302383
Journal reference: Archives of Disease in Childhood
Provided by British Medical Journal
- Sharp rise in children admitted to hospital with throat infections since 1999 Oct 19, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Each 5-degree temperature rise boosts kids' hospital admissions for serious injury by 10 percent Nov 25, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Tackling 'frequent flyers' won't solve the rising emergency hospital admissions problem Sep 18, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- New research reveals 41 percent increase in children's short stay hospital admissions Oct 15, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Formula predicts emergency admissions in adults older than 40 Jul 14, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
(HealthDay)—More than one in four of those eligible for new premium assistance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) do not have a checking account and will not be able to receive premiums from ...
Health 35 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
After studying noise in one French Quarter neighborhood of New Orleans to determine whether or not noise levels exceeded municipal ordinances, Annette Hurley, PhD, Assistant Professor of Audiology at LSU Health Sciences Center ...
Health 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Young children who missed more than half of recommended well-child visits had up to twice the risk of hospitalization compared to children who attended most of their visits, according to a study published today in the American Jo ...
Health 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The individualisation of drug treatments to support patients to self-manage their conditions is a concept that sits at the heart of policy, but a recent study in BMJ Open shows that there is no concrete defini ...
Health 4 hours ago | 3 / 5 (1) | 0
Fun in the summer often means kids spending time in the water, whether at a pool, the beach, a lake or river. A pediatric safety expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) stresses proper training ...
Health 5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—We've all seen them: the surfers who race to the beach when a hurricane hits, the guy who decides to ride out the storm in his overmatched boat, the tornado chasers who fearlessly steer their ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—New evidence-based guidelines provide guidance on medical and surgical methods for second-trimester abortion and management of associated complications, according to a practice bulletin published ...
45 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Comorbid conditions often accompany alopecia areata, according to a study published online May 22 in JAMA Dermatology.
15 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—As a world-class golfer, Stacy Lewis' accomplishments are remarkable. But it was a physical challenge in her childhood that defined her ascent to the top of her sport.
55 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Biological processes are generally based on events at the molecular and cellular level. To understand what happens in the course of infections, diseases or normal bodily functions, scientists would need to ...
2 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |