Children's hospitals supports research on flu vaccines.//
Getting into the new era of flu season, a recent study had reported that hospitalizing children for influenza might cost up to three or four times of the estimates that were accepted previously.
The researchers from Pediatric department of Philadelphia Children's Hospital say ‘their findings have strengthened the economic justification for broadly vaccinating the children against flu’.
'We found the cost of influenza-related hospitalizations in children was
about $13,000 each--compared to most prior studies that estimated the cost
at three to four thousand dollars,' said study leader Ron Keren, M.D.,
M.P.H., a pediatrician at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. 'This
suggests that annual influenza vaccinations for children, especially for
those with certain high-risk conditions, may be more cost-effective than
The study appears in the November issue of Pediatrics.
The researchers analyzed billing data for 727 patients up to age 21 who were
admitted to Children's Hospital with laboratory-confirmed influenza over
four consecutive flu seasons, from 2000 to 2004. The study team
statistically adjusted the direct medical costs to account for geographic
variations in those costs.
'We found a broad range of hospital costs in the study, from approximately
$7,000 each for patients treated only on the ward, to nearly $40,000 each
for children cared for in the intensive care unit,' said Dr. Keren. Children
with low-risk conditions had hospital costs averaging $9,000 each, compared
to those with high-risk conditions, whose costs averaged $15,000 each.
The study team used risk categories defined by the American Committee on
Immunization Practices (ACIP), which has designated medically vulnerable
patients who should receive influenza vaccinations. For instance, high-risk
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