Reasons for Admissions to US Children’s Hospitals During the COVID-19 Pandemic | Emergency Medicine | JAMA | JAMA Network
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Research Letter
April 27, 2021

Reasons for Admissions to US Children’s Hospitals During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2Children’s Hospital Association, Lenexa, Kansas
  • 3Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2021;325(16):1676-1679. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.4382

Measures to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic affected children’s access to health services and their physical and mental health. Reductions in hospitalizations for children occurred in 2020 compared with prior years.1 Little is known about the reasons for the decline and whether it varied by patient characteristics.

Children’s hospitals provide inpatient care for the most diverse, high-severity, and complex illnesses2 and are located in large urban areas, which were particularly affected by COVID-19 outbreaks. Centralization of pediatric inpatient care into children’s hospitals was urged to free beds in non–children’s hospitals for adult COVID-19 patients. We compared hospitalizations in US children’s hospitals before and during the pandemic.