Variation in hospital admission of sickle cell patients from the emergency department using the Pediatric Health Information System

Seethal A. Jacob, Emily L. Mueller, Anneli R. Cochrane, Aaron E. Carroll, William E. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Universal newborn screening and improved treatment options have led to increased survival in sickle cell disease (SCD). However, patients with SCD still rely heavily on acute care services. Objective: To determine the variation seen in hospitalizations for the top complaints for ED visits for children with SCD nationally. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of the Pediatric Health Information Systems (PHIS) Database between October 2011 and September 2015. Emergency department (ED) encounters were selected by using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Edition, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes for SCD with and without crisis, fever, and pain. Univariate analyses were performed, as well as index of dispersion (ID) to assess variation by day of the week and region. ANOVA and t-test were used to determine statistical significance. Results: A total of 68 661 ED encounters at 36 hospitals met the criteria for inclusion. Of those encounters, 50.1% were admitted to the hospital. Pain and fever were the most common primary diagnoses among this population. Although variation in hospitalization was seen overall, as well as for a primary diagnosis of pain or fever, this variation was not explained by weekday/weekend designation. Conclusion: The results of our study confirm pain and fever as the most common primary diagnoses for children with SCD who seek acute care, as well as demonstrate that while significant variation in hospitalization exists, it is not associated with day of the week. Further studies to elucidate patient- and hospital-level factors that influence admission variation are necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere28067
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • adolescent
  • child
  • emergency department utilization
  • hematology
  • sickle cell disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology

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