A new study suggests that hospitalizations of children with aspiration pneumonia last longer and cost more when compared to children hospitalized for community-acquired pneumonia.

Researchers identified 12,097 hospitalized children with AP, and 121,489 with CAP. The patient data was evaluated and compared according to a set of characteristics that included age, percentage of complex chronic condition, length of stay at the hospital, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, expenses, 30-day readmission rate, and seasonal variability.

“When compared to children with CAP, children hospitalized with aspiration pneumonia are more likely to have a chronic condition and are more likely to receive care in an ICU, have higher costs of hospitalization and higher 30-day readmission rates after hospital discharge,” Dr Alexander Hirsch said.

Concerning hospitalization cost, researchers determined that the average expenses of patients with AP were 2.4 times higher than those of patients with CAP. They also recorded seasonal variability for CAP hospitalizations, but not for AP patients.

“Our study underscores the need for future research to optimize coordination of care and treatment for children at risk of aspiration pneumonia,” Hirsch said.

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