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Increasing care needs for children with neurological impairment


In this week's PLoS Medicine, Jay Berry of Harvard Medical School, USA and colleagues report findings from an analysis of hospitalization data in the United States, examining the proportion of inpatient resources attributable to care for children with neurological impairment (NI). Their results indicate that children with NI account for a substantial proportion of inpatient resources and that the impact of these children is growing within children's hospitals, necessitating adequate clinical care and a coordination of efforts to ensure that the needs of children with NI are met.

The authors state: "We must ensure that the current health care system is staffed, educated, and equipped to serve, with efficiency and quality, this growing segment of vulnerable children."


Funding: AP was supported by the Harvard Medical School Eleanor & Miles Shore Scholar/Children's Hospital Boston Junior Faculty Career Development Fellowship. RS and JGB were supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development career development awards K23 HD052553 and K23 HD58092-02, respectively. JLB was supported by NIH K08 DA024753. This project was supported in part by the Children's Health Research Center at the University of Utah and Primary Children's Medical Center Foundation. The funders and sponsors were not involved in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; or preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.

Competing Interests: RS has received grant funding from K23 HD 052553, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH. RS has also given talks as Chair of PRIS Network (part of the Network, and his time is funded by the Child Health Corporation of America) and has been asked to speak in his capacity as a hospitalist investigator with receipt of an honorarium (Rady Childrens Hospital; Alberta Children's Hospital (both 2010)). RS has also acted as an expert witness on a behalf of a plaintiff for Jackson & Campbell, P.C., Washington D.C., because of his research on children with neurological impairment and their care. All other authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Citation: Berry JG, Poduri A, Bonkowsky JL, Zhou J, Graham DA, et al. (2012) Trends in Resource Utilization by Children with Neurological Impairment in the United States Inpatient Health Care System: A Repeat Cross-Sectional Study. PLoS Med 9(1): e1001158. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001158

Jay Berry
Complex Care Service
Children's Hospital Boston
Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts
United States of America

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