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Open Access Research article

A 10-year population-based nationwide descriptive analysis of pediatric emergency care

Mei-Jy Jeng123*, Yu-Sheng Lee23, Pei-Chen Tsao23, Chia-Feng Yang23, Yu-Cheng Luo2 and Wen-Jue Soong23

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan

2 Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan

3 Department of Pediatrics, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, 201, Section 2, Shih-Pai Road, Taipei 11217, Taiwan

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BMC Pediatrics 2014, 14:100  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-14-100

Published: 10 April 2014

Abstract

Background

Pediatric emergency care medicine is an important field of health care. This study aimed to investigate the 10-year pediatric emergency care in children aged 0-17 years old in Taiwan.

Methods

Systematic random samples from the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan in the period 2000-2009 were analyzed. Children recorded as undergoing emergency care were enrolled and divided into different age groups. The frequency of emergency visits, age, cost per visit, seasonality, number of hospitalizations, and diagnosis were analyzed.

Results

A total of 764,598 children were enrolled. These children accounted for 25% of all emergency cases and their mean age was 6.1 years. Children aged 0-5 years formed the largest group, with male predominance (57.5%). The incidence of emergency visits was 29133 ± 3104 per 100,000 children per year (mean ± SD). Acute upper airway infection, fever, and acute gastrointestinal illness were the most common diagnoses among all non-hospitalized children. Some (4.51%) required subsequent hospitalization and their most common diagnoses were fluid/electrolyte disorder, upper/lower airway infection, and acute gastrointestinal illness. The group of children aged 12-17 years had cases of traumatic injury and childbirth.

Conclusions

In Taiwan, 25% of individuals seeking emergency care are children, mostly aged 0-5 years old. Costs and disease patterns vary among different age groups. Preventive measures targeting all children should focus on respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases, but should target different diseases for different age groups to improve child health.

Keywords:
Children; Emergency; Hospitalization; National health insurance research database