Andes Pediatr. 2022 Oct;93(5):640-647. doi: 10.32641/andespediatr.v93i5.4060.
Advances in medical care have increased the survival of children with complex chronic pathology (CCP).
OBJECTIVE: to analyze the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of a cohort of children with CCP.
PATIENTS AND METHOD: retrospective descriptive study performed in a tertiary hospital bet ween June 2017 and June 2020, which included patients with CCP criteria. Epidemiological, clinical, admissions, and services involved data were collected and analyzed. Statistical analysis was perfor med using SPSS v22.0 software.
RESULTS: 323 patients (mean age 7 years) were included. 93.1% had a multisystem disease, with neurological (87.3%) and gastrointestinal (34.1%) as the most frequent chronic conditions. 39.9% were technology dependent. The main diagnoses were Infantile Cerebral Palsy (23.5%) and Epileptic Encephalopathy (13.9%). Each patient was in follow-up by 5 specialists on average. Of the patients, 85.1% were admitted at some time, with a total of 739 admissions. The mean length of stay was 8.7 days. Technology-dependent patients accounted for 54.7% of hospi talizations. The reasons for admission were acute illness (64.3%), surgery (20.3%), and diagnostic procedure (15%). ICU was required in 23.1%. 62 admissions were partially carried out by the Home Hospitalization Unit.
CONCLUSIONS: Children with CCP require an increased number of admissions and multiple specialists. The implementation of specialized referral units may be useful to improve their care.