Complications of Pediatric Otitis Media

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Abstract

Objective

Otitis media (OM) is a common diagnosis in the pediatric population that is usually managed on an outpatient basis. A small proportion of children are admitted due to a complex disease course. The aim of this study was to investigate the demographics of those patients and the resources utilized during their admissions.

Study Design

Retrospective review based on the 2009 Kids’ Inpatient Database.

Setting

Nationwide administrative database.

Subjects and Methods

A review based on the 2009 Kids’ Inpatient Database was conducted. Inclusion criteria were clinical modification codes for OM (ICD-9 code 382). Data recorded included patient demographics, concurrent discharge diagnosis codes, length of stay, total charges, and frequency of procedures performed.

Results

There were 61,783 (92,548 nationally weighted) admissions with OM, which were analyzed. The average age (SD) for the patients was 2.18 (3.49) years, and the average length of stay was 2.88 days. The majority (80.75%) of patients did not have to undergo a procedure during admission, whereas a small proportion (5.4%) underwent a major operating room procedure. There were 21 deaths recorded (0.03%). A diagnosis of mastoiditis, meningitis, venous sinus thrombosis, or intracranial abscess was associated with significantly increased length of stay, incidence of procedures, and total cost of admission.

Conclusions

Complicated pediatric OM remains of concern requiring prompt and thorough management. Major complications include mastoiditis and meningitis, and unfortunately, fatalities still occur in patients with OM. An understanding of resource utilization and socioeconomic implications can identify and drive opportunities for targeted quality improvement.

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