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Sepsis is characterized by a dysregulated host response to infection and organ dysfunction. Due to the high rates of complications and deaths in children, it is considered a major challenge in Brazil. With the objective of evaluating hospitalizations for sepsis in children and their expenses for the public health system in the country, Brazilian researchers conducted the study The epidemiological behavior of sepsis among children and its costly impact on the Brazilian public health systempresented at the last congress of the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive & Critical Care Societies (WFPICCS 2022), which took place from July 12 to 16 in virtual format.
Brito and collaborators collected data through the Hospital Information System of the Brazilian Ministry of Health. Pediatric patients aged 0 to 14 years diagnosed with sepsis from January 2008 to November 2021 were included. The variables were hospitalizations and deaths over the years, length of stay, expenses and age group.
Read too: Guidelines for Management of Sepsis and Septic Shock in Portuguese
Over the years, 249,455 hospitalizations for sepsis were reported, of which 95.4% were considered medical emergencies, totaling 3,332,519 days of hospitalization and R$ 186,220,788.89 in health expenses. The mortality rate was 11.52%, and the age group responsible for the highest cost (75.9%) was the population of infants under one year of age.
The researchers concluded that, due to the high frequency of infectious diseases and poor socioeconomic indicators in Brazil, sepsis is responsible for exorbitant expenses and a high rate of complications and mortality among pediatric patients. It is noteworthy the fact that age is inversely proportional to susceptibility and severity. Thus, this information obtained may be related to the immaturity of the immune system and the production of extracellular neutrophil traps. Therefore, it is crucial to invest in primary prevention of infections, including strategies such as encouraging breastfeeding and training health professionals for early recognition and treatment of septic conditions in pediatrics.
Indeed, the greatest burden of morbidity and mortality related to pediatric sepsis and septic shock is in low- and middle-income countries, where populations unfortunately suffer from poor hygiene, malnutrition, and a high prevalence of infections. Although data in these nations is still limited, it is known that there is a different standard of care compared to high-income countries. I congratulate the authors for the initiative, since scientific works that analyze epidemiological data help in understanding the behavior of the disease and in the adoption of measures for prevention and adequate management.
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# Brito VP, et al. PP125 – The epidemiological behavior of sepsis among children and its costly impact on the Brazilian public health system. 11th Congress of the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive & Critical Care Societies 12-16 July 2022 | Virtual World Congress. https://wfpiccs.org/wfpiccs-2022/