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Article
December 1983

Iatrogenic Risks and Financial Costs of Hospitalizing Febrile Infants

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore.

Am J Dis Child. 1983;137(12):1146-1149. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1983.02140380006003
Abstract

• We identified, by diagnostic categories, the iatrogenic and financial costs that arise from hospitalizing febrile infants 60 days of age or younger. Thirty-seven (19.5%) of all admissions resulted in 48 separate complications. Twenty-nine (60.4%) of these complications were preventable, and six complications (12.5%) occurred in infants who probably did not require hospitalization for therapy. Twenty-four (50%) of all complications resulted from intravenous therapy. In addition to the complications, 26 diagnostic misadventures were identified. The average length of hospitalization for all infants was 7.0 days, with a range of two to 28 days. The average cost of hospitalization in 1979-80 dollars was $2,130 per infant, with a range from $6,345 for those infants with bacterial meningitis to $1,480 for those infants with aseptic meningitis. On the average, 25.6% of the bill was for diagnostic studies and 8.3% for physician fees.

(Am J Dis Child 1983;137:1146-1149)

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