Primary operative management for pediatric empyema: Decreases in hospital length of stay and charges in a national sample

Su-Ting Terry Li, Robert L. Gates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether primary operative management (decortication within the first 2 days of hospitalization) decreases hospital length of stay (LOS) and total charges in children with empyema. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: Nationally representative Kids' Inpatient Database for 2003. Participants: Children and adolescents aged 0 to 18 years (hereinafter referred to as children) with empyema. Main Outcome Measures: Hospital LOS and total charges. Results: A total of 1173 children with empyema were identified. Compared with children treated with primary nonoperative management, children treated with primary operative management had a shorter hospital LOS by 4.3 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3-6.4) days and lower total hospital charges by $21 179.80 (95% CI, $34 111.12 to -$8248.48) and were less likely to be transferred to another short-term hospital (0% vs 13.3%). In addition, children with primary operative management were less likely to have therapeutic failure (odds ratio, 0.08 [95% CI, 0.04-0.15]). There was no difference in complications between the 2 groups (odds ratio, 1.01 [95% CI, 0.59-1.74]). Conclusion: Primary operative management is associated with decreased LOS, hospital charges, and likelihood of transfer to another short-term hospital, compared with nonoperative management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-48
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this