The National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) has established benchmarks for measuring quality of care in children that are hospitalized. Readmission within 30 days of discharge is the benchmark chosen to assess the quality of care for patients with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). Limited data exist to determine risk factors for re-admission and whether such risk factors are modifiable. We performed a retrospective case-control study to identify risk factors for hospital readmission in children with SCD. All hospital admissions of patients with SCD for one year were reviewed. Cases were defined as children with SCD who were readmitted within 30 days of their first admission during the 12 month study period. Controls were defined as children with SCD who were not readmitted within 30 days of their first admission. A total of 30 cases and 70 controls were identified. The average time between admissions was 10.7 days with 50% readmitted within 8 days and 77% readmitted within 21 days. No difference in demographic data was found between cases and controls. The most common admission and readmission diagnosis was pain, 78% and 70%, respectively. The greatest risk factor for readmission was no follow-up appointment within 30 days after discharge in the SCD clinic (OR 7.7, 95% CI 2.4–24.4). The second highest risk factor was severity of disease, defined as patients with ≥ 3 hospitalizations in the previous 12 months versus patients with ≤ 2 hospitalizations in the previous 12 months (OR 7.3, 95% CI 2.8–18.9). A diagnosis of asthma was also a risk factor for readmission (OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.2–7.3). Patients who initially required supplemental oxygen to maintain their oxygen saturation in the normal range and were subsequently on room air for ≤ 24 hours at discharge were also more likely to be readmitted (OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.1–9.7). Steroid administration was not a risk factor for readmission (OR 1.2, 95% CT 0.5–3.2). Potential modifiable risk factors exist to decrease the rate of readmission. Specifically, strategies targeted at the modification of disease severity, aggressive management of asthma, and outpatient follow-up after hospitalization may decrease the 30 day readmission rate.

Author notes

Disclosure: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.