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June 1991

Influenza Type A and B Infections in Hospitalized Pediatric Patients: Who Should Be Immunized?

Author Affiliations

From the Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, Calif, and the University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles. Dr Serwint is now with the Division of General Pediatrics, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md.

Am J Dis Child. 1991;145(6):623-626. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1991.02160060041017

• Medical records of 99 hospitalized pediatric patients whose respiratory viral cultures yielded influenza type A or B during the winter of 1988/1989 were reviewed. We compared the records of patients considered to be at high risk (n = 43) with those of patients considered to be at low risk (n = 56) to determine differences in morbidity and mortality and if vaccination was warranted. Sixty-six percent of highrisk patients had chronic pulmonary disease. Forty-four percent of the high-risk and 11% of the low-risk patients were hospitalized for 14 or more days. Nosocomial influenza infections were identified in 14% of the high-risk and 4% of the low-risk patients. Four of the high-risk patients and only one of the low-risk patients were intubated. Of the three deaths, two occurred in the high-risk group. None of the high-risk patients who experienced significant morbidity had been immunized. We need to immunize high-risk patients, particularly high-risk pulmonary patients.

(AJDC. 1991;145:623-626)

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