The records for the years 1964 through 1971 of 38 indigent children with meningomyelocele treated at a municipal hospital and 52 nonindigent children with meningomyelocele treated at a private hospital were reviewed. In those cases not lost to follow-up, there was a 50% mortality in the indigent children compared with a 22% mortality in the nonindigent children. Forty-five percent of indigent patients who had shunt procedures became infected, in contrast to 15% of nonindigent children who had shunt procedures. Possible factors influencing success or failure of treatment are discussed, and methods to decrease morbidity and mortality in indigent patients with meningomyelocele are reviewed.
Haynes BF, Cheek WR, Mintz AA. Treatment of Meningomyelocele in Indigent and Nonindigent Patients. Am J Dis Child. 1974;127(2):182–186. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110210032004