Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Hospital Standards Needed For Pediatric Flu Vaccines

Date:
February 4, 2008
Source:
Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center of Seattle
Summary:
Many children hospitalized for influenza have had a recent, previous hospitalization that would have provided an easy, convenient opportunity to receive a hospital-based influenza vaccination. Researchers suggest that evaluating and establishing industry standards for flu vaccines for hospitalized children could help prevent additional hospitalizations and complications from influenza.

A new study finds that many children hospitalized for influenza have had a recent, previous hospitalization that would have provided an easy, convenient opportunity to receive a hospital-based influenza vaccination. The authors suggest that evaluating and establishing industry standards for flu vaccines for hospitalized children could help prevent additional hospitalizations and complications from influenza.

The research team led by Danielle M. Zerr, MD, MPH, medical director of infection control at Seattle Children's Hospital and associate professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM), evaluated the frequency of previous hospitalizations among children hospitalized with influenza. Overall, they found that 23% of children hospitalized with influenza and another complicating illness had a previous hospitalization during the most recent flu-vaccine season. This suggests that reaching those children at highest risk for influenza complications and reducing rates of pediatric hospitalization for influenza may be aided by providing in-hospital vaccinations when children are hospitalized during flu vaccine season.

The study* looked at five years of hospital discharge data from the Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS) database from 2001 through 2006 to determine how many children hospitalized with influenza or respiratory illness had a previous hospitalization during the most recent flu-vaccine season. PHIS is an administrative database developed by the Child Health Corporation of America (CHCA), used by 42 free-standing pediatric hospitals. Subjects included newborns through age 18. A previous hospitalization during flu vaccination season was considered if it occurred in the two weeks to six months prior to the influenza admission and between September 1 and March 1. Approximately 14,000 cases of children hospitalized with influenza and 170,000 hospitalized with influenza or a respiratory illness were reviewed.

Researchers found approximately 16% of those hospitalized with influenza and 23% of those hospitalized with influenza and another underlying condition had previous hospital admissions during the vaccination season.

"This information will help pediatricians recognize hospitalization as an important opportunity to vaccinate the highest-risk children, and may hopefully prompt the development of hospital-based flu vaccine programs," said Zerr.

Influenza is a highly contagious illness causing an average of 36,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations per year in the United States; pneumonia is the most common complication in high-risk groups. Young children and those with certain health conditions are at high risk for serious flu complications.

Influenza, unlike the common cold, has a swift onset of severe symptoms beginning with two to seven days of fever, headache, muscle aches, extreme fatigue, runny nose and sore throat, and a cough that is often severe and may last seven days or more. The flu season is generally from November to April, with most cases occurring between late December and early March.

In 2007 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended that unvaccinated patients of all ages (including children with high-risk conditions) and all persons aged 6 months to 4 years as well as those 50 and older who are hospitalized at any time, beginning from the time flu vaccine becomes available for the upcoming flu season and continuing throughout flu season, should be offered and strongly encouraged to receive influenza vaccine before being discharged from the hospital.

Seattle Children's has had a long-standing aggressive flu prevention program, offering free flu shots to inpatients, outpatients and staff. In 2007-2008 Seattle Children's also offered free vaccines to those with close contact with patients such as family members, teachers, day care staff, nannies and more.

"Many of the sickest children have very fragile immune systems. At Seattle Children's we've already expanded our program beyond patients and staff to ensure we're doing everything we can to reduce the risk of exposing our high-risk patients to the flu and its complications," said Zerr. She adds "With findings from this study, we can see that an industry-wide review of hospital-based flu vaccines for all children could take flu-prevention to the next level."

*The article "Hospital-Based Influenza Vaccination of Children: An Opportunity to Prevent Subsequent Hospitalization," was published in the February 2008 issue of Pediatrics.

The research team included Janet A. Englund, MD, Edgar K. Marcuse, MD, and Dimitri A. Christakis, MD, MPH, also of Seattle Children's and UWSOM; and Andrea S. Robertson, MPH, and Michelle M. Garrison, PhD, of UWSOM.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center of Seattle. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center of Seattle. "New Hospital Standards Needed For Pediatric Flu Vaccines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080204085302.htm>.
Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center of Seattle. (2008, February 4). New Hospital Standards Needed For Pediatric Flu Vaccines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080204085302.htm
Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center of Seattle. "New Hospital Standards Needed For Pediatric Flu Vaccines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080204085302.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins