Association of Asthma With Treatments and Outcomes in Children With Critical Influenza.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.jaip.2022.10.045


BACKGROUND: Hospitalization for severe influenza infection in childhood may result in postdischarge sequelae.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate inpatient management and postdischarge sequelae in children with critical respiratory illness owing to influenza with or without preexisting asthma.

METHODS: This was a prospective, observational multicenter study of children (aged 8 months to 17 years) admitted to a pediatric intensive care or high-acuity unit (in November 2019 to April 2020) for influenza. Results were stratified by preexisting asthma. Prehospital status, hospital treatments, and outcomes were collected. Surveys at approximately 90 days after discharge evaluated postdischarge health resource use, functional status, and respiratory symptoms.

RESULTS: A total of 165 children had influenza: 56 with preexisting asthma (33.9%) and 109 without it (66.1%; 41.1% and 39.4%, respectively, were fully vaccinated against influenza). Fifteen patients with preexisting asthma (26.7%) and 34 without it (31.1%) were intubated. More patients with versus without preexisting asthma received pharmacologic asthma treatments during hospitalization (76.7% vs 28.4%). Of 136 patients with 90-day survey data (82.4%; 46 with preexisting asthma [33.8%] and 90 without it [66.1%]), a similar proportion had an emergency department/urgent care visit (4.3% vs 6.6%) or hospital readmission (8.6% vs 3.3%) for a respiratory condition. Patients with preexisting asthma more frequently experienced asthma symptoms (78.2% vs 3.3%) and had respiratory specialist visits (52% vs 20%) after discharge. Of 109 patients without preexisting asthma, 10 reported receiving a new diagnosis of asthma (11.1%).

CONCLUSIONS: Respiratory health resource use and symptoms are important postdischarge outcomes after influenza critical illness in children with and without preexisting asthma. Less than half of children were vaccinated for influenza, a tool that could mitigate critical illness and its sequelae.

Journal Title

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract





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Acute respiratory viral infection; Asthma; Influenza; Outcomes; Pediatric intensive care unit; Reactive airway disease

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