Hospitals Are Overcounting Children Admitted for Covid

Almost half of the children in hospital recorded as having needed inpatient treatment for Covid may have actually needed treatment for something else and happened to test positive, a new U.S. study suggests. The MailOnline has the story.

Out of 117 children who tested positive were treated as inpatients in Stanford University’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, 53 were likely not sick enough from the virus itself to need inpatient treatment. 

Children younger than 18 make up only 12.4% of U.S. Covid cases, and less than a fraction of a per cent of the total number of deaths from the virus, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show. 

An estimated one to three per cent of Covid hospitalisations for Covid are among children – but the new Stanford study suggests the real figure may be even lower…

The new study, published Wednesday in the journal Hospital Pediatrics, took a closer look at data on 117 children who were either hospitalized for a Covid-linked syndrome – MIS-C, which occurs after kids are infected with coronavirus – or who tested positive after arriving at the hospital. 

The children were hospitalized between May 10th, 2020 and February 10th, 2021. 

About 40% of those children were completely asymptomatic for Covid. 

Another 28% displayed only symptoms of mild-to-moderate coronavirus infections. 

Nine kids became severely ill from Covid, including three who probably were not hospitalized because of the infection, but became seriously sick with Covid during their stay, their medical charts suggest. 

Only 15 out of the 117 children were determined to be critically ill (about 13%). Fourteen of them were likely brought to hospitals specifically because of their Covid symptoms. 

One child was admitted to the hospital to undergo surgery for a congenital heart problem. They had no symptoms when they arrived at the hospital, but later tested positive and fell critically ill, likely due to the combination of Covid and their heart condition. 

Fourteen children were diagnosed with MIS-C – multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children – which has been linked to Covid. These children may not have gotten severely ill during the acute phase of infection with coronavirus, but it set off a chain of immune responses that brought on the potentially life-threatening inflammation. 

All-in-all, only a little over half of the kids who were logged as hospitalised for Covid were actually sick enough from the virus itself to need inpatient treatment for it. 

The other 45% were likely hospitalised for something else and just happened to test positive for Covid. 

Worth reading in full.

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