Background: Pediatric patients with complex chronic conditions (CCC) can benefit from pediatric palliative and hospice care (PP/HC) services. PP/HC can be delivered in a variety of health care settings and for a multitude of conditions, but data on hospitalization patterns and on secondary illnesses in pediatric CCC patients remains scant. Objective: The study objective was to describe mortality trends for Rhode Island resident children aged 0-17 years, along with the demographics, subtypes, sites of death, and comorbidities of those with CCC. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study using demographic, hospitalization, and clinical data from all Rhode Island Department of Health death certificates from 2000 to 2012. Results: Among the 1422 Rhode Island children aged 0-17 years old who died from 2000 to 2012, CCCs accounted for 27% (279/1049) of medically related deaths and 62% (145/233) of such deaths after infancy. CCC deaths were more likely at home (OR 5.202, 95% CI 2.984-9.203, p<0.001) and to have had a secondary cause of death documented (OR 3.032, 95% CI 2.259-4.067, p<0.001) than were other medically related deaths. Infants with CCCs were more likely to die in an inpatient setting (OR 5.141, 95% CI 2.718-10.026, p<0.001), whereas 1-17 year-olds with CCCs were more likely to die at home (OR 5.346, 95% CI 2.200-14.811, p<0.001) or in an emergency department (OR 3.281, 95% CI 1.363-8.721, p<0.040). Conclusions: CCCs constitute a significant proportion of medically related pediatric deaths in Rhode Island and are associated with both secondary comorbidities and death at home. Specialized, multidisciplinary services are warranted and PP/HC is crucial for patient and family support.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine