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Sepsis in Canadian children: a national analysis using administrative data

Authors Thompson G, Kissoon N

Received 5 August 2014

Accepted for publication 30 September 2014

Published 5 December 2014 Volume 2014:6 Pages 461—469


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Henrik Toft Sørensen

Graham Thompson,1 Niranjan Kissoon2

1Alberta Children's Hospital, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada; 2British Columbia Children’s Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Background: Severe infection resulting in sepsis is recognized as a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The purpose of this study is to use longitudinal, population-based data to report national-level hospital metrics, providing a current assessment of the status of sepsis hospitalizations in Canadian children.
Methods: We performed an analysis of previously abstracted data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) Discharge Abstract Database (DAD). Children aged 0–17 years at the time of hospital admission were identified from a cohort of patients with sepsis or severe sepsis using the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision (ICD-10-CA) and the Canadian Classification of Health Interventions (CCI). Descriptive population-based statistics are reported.
Results: Hospitalization data for 20,130 children admitted over 5 years were reviewed. The majority of children were young, with neonates (56.3%) and infants under 2 months (18.8%) representing the majority of cases. A decline in age-adjusted hospitalization rates was demonstrated in both overall and non-severe sepsis across the study period; however, no change was demonstrated for severe sepsis. While overall in-hospital crude mortality rates did not change significantly across the study period (range 5.1%–5.4%), a significant decrease was found in children aged 3–23 months and adolescents. Multi-organ failure was reported in more than one-quarter of children with severe sepsis. Odds of mortality increased significantly with number of organs failed.
Conclusion: Sepsis remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality in Canadian children, posing a significant burden on health care resources. Age continues to be associated with the incidence and severity of illness. Overall hospitalization rates have declined over time, as has mortality in severe sepsis. This report provides baseline metrics for future outcome-based research in Canada targeting prevention strategies and early diagnosis, as well as therapies preventing and managing organ failure.

Keywords: septic shock, child, hospitalization, mortality, epidemiology

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