Skin and soft tissue infections and procedures to treat them are resulting in increased health care utilization, according to findings in a recently published study.
Michelle A. Lopez, MD, and colleagues at Baylor College of Medicine used data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids’ Inpatient Database and analyzed discharge records for hospitalized pediatric patients to determine trends associated with skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI) between 1997 and 2009.
The researchers reported that during this time, SSTI hospitalizations increased twofold, from 0.46% to 1.01%. Although length of hospital stays decreased from 3.11 to 2.71 days, hospitalization costs increased from $6,722 to $11,534. Incision and drainage treatment procedures to treat SSTIs also doubled during this time (21% vs. 44%), according to the researchers.
“SSTI disease requires the continued attention of the pediatric community, and factors such as age, race and socioeconomic status warrant additional epidemiologic study because trends suggest the burden attributable to this disease will continue to escalate,” Lopez and colleagues concluded.
Disclosure: Lopez reports no relevant financial disclosures.