Readmissions for Heart Failure in Children


OBJECTIVE: To assess the frequency of inpatient 30-day readmission for heart failure in children with cardiomyopathy discharged after an admission for heart failure and the impact of discharge pharmacotherapy on readmissions.

STUDY DESIGN: The Pediatric Health Information System Database was queried for patients ≤18 years of age with an International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision code for heart failure (428.xx) or cardiomyopathy (425.xx) discharged from 2004 to 2013. Patients were excluded if they had congenital heart disease, expired on the initial admission, or underwent cardiac surgery. Patient admission characteristics were documented and discharge medications were captured. Frequency of 30-day readmission for heart failure was identified, and mixed effects multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to determine factors significant for readmission.

RESULTS: A total of 2386 patients met study criteria (52.1% male, median age 8.1 years [IQR 1.2-14.6 years]). Vasoactive medications were used in 70.3% of patients on initial admission, the most common of which was milrinone (62.8%). Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and beta-blockers were given at discharge to 67.4% and 35.9%, respectively. Frequency of 30-day readmission for heart failure was 12.9%. Duration of milrinone or beta-blocker use at discharge and institutional heart failure patient volume were associated with a greater odds of 30-day readmission, whereas mechanical ventilation on initial admission was associated with decreased odds of readmission.

CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric patients with cardiomyopathy and heart failure have a high frequency of heart failure-related 30-day readmission. Outpatient pharmacotherapy at discharge does not appear to influence readmission.

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J Pediatr 2016;177:153–8.e3