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Immunocompromised children who acquire fungal infections have higher costs, longer hospital stays, and an elevated risk of death.

posted Mar 11, 2009, 2:03 PM by Joseph Carpenter   [ updated Mar 11, 2009, 2:04 PM ]

Some children's immune systems are compromised by diseases such as cancer or treatments such as bone marrow transplantation. During 2000, 0.5 percent of hospitalized immunocompromised children developed invasive aspergillosis (IA), the most common fungal infection to strike immunocompromised children. Nearly one in five (18 percent) of the children died in the hospital; children with cancer and IA had a 13.5 percent higher risk of dying in the hospital than children who had cancer but were not infected with IA. Median length of stay was over five times as long for immunocompromised children with IA (16 days) as for children who were not infected with IA (3 days), and their total hospital charges were also five times as high ($49,309 vs. $9,035). Zaoutis, Heydon, Chu, et al., Pediatrics 117:711-716, 2006 (AHRQ Grant HS10399).