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The aim of this study was to determine the hospitalization rate due to pneumonia in preschool
children in our region and to compare the rate found with those reported in the literature.
We performed a prospective study between October 2004 and September 2006 in patients aged less than 3 years
old in San Sebastian (Spain) and the surrounding region. All children admitted to hospital for radiologically-confirmed
pneumonia (presence of lobar or segmental alveolar infiltrate, interstitial infiltrate and/or pleural effusion) were included.
There were 116 episodes requiring hospitalization, representing an incidence of 6.4 cases/1000 inhabitants (6.2 in
infants aged less than 1 year and 6.6 in children aged 12-35 months). Admission to the intensive care unit was required in
10.3% (12/116). Alveolar infiltrate was found on chest radiograph in 62.1% (72/116), ranging from 51.4% (19/37) in infants
aged less than 1 year and 69.6% (32/46) in children aged 24 months or more. Mortality at 30 days of admission was
The incidence of hospitalization due to community-acquired pneumonia in infants and children, as well as
that of pneumonia with alveolar infiltrate, was high in our region. Evaluation of the potential utility of the new pneumococcal
conjugate vaccine and the influenza vaccine for children should also take into account their effectiveness in preventing
pneumonia in this age group.