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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


FERRARI, Ana M et al. A strategy for the management of hospitalized children with acute lower respiratory infections. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2002, vol.36, n.3, pp.292-300. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVES: To improve the quality of care provided to hospitalized children having acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI), to increase the knowledge on this health condition, and to broaden the utilization of health care resources through a program called "Winter Plan". METHODS: The program comprised the use of guidelines for diagnosis and treatment, disease-oriented hospitalizations to provide an increased level of care, management of health care resources and implementation of computerized medical records. Systematic investigation of viral etiology was performed in order to rationalize the use of medications and reduce nosocomial infections. RESULTS: During program implementation (19/V-19/IX/99), 3,317 children were admitted; 1,347 (40.61%) had ALRI, of which 1,096 (81%) were included in the study. Of them, 71% aged less than 1 year. Most ALRI were viral (68%). Admission criteria were: oxygen saturation <95%, tachypnea, retractions or pleural effusion (92.4% of the children). The demand magnitude prevented compliance with isolation guidelines in all cases. Treatment guidelines were followed in a high percentage of cases: 73% of children having bronchiolitis and 72% of those with viral pneumonia received no antibiotics and 96% of children with bacterial pneumonia were put on antibiotics as recommended; use of bronchodilators and corticosteroids was reduced. Medication costs were reduced especially in the corticosteroid group, which meant a greater impact on hospitalization costs. CONCLUSIONS: To decrease ALRI morbidity and mortality there is a need to continue improving the quality of health care during hospitalization and to reinforce health promotion actions and preventive programs at the primary level.

Keywords : Respiratory tract infections; Patient care; Hospitalization; Child, hospitalized; Acute disease; Quality of health care; Hospitals, pediatric; Hospital care.

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