Articles

Paediatric admissions to hospitals in the Cape Town Metro District: A survey

Anthony Westwood, Michael Levin, Jo Hageman

Abstract


A point prevalence survey of 381 paediatric medical inpatients in the 11 public hospitals in Cape Town in November 2007 showed that 70% of them were in central hospitals, with 39.4% requiring level 3 (sub-specialist) care. Numbers of children in hospital and their levels of health care requirement did not vary by sub-district of residence. Seventy-seven per cent of patients were under 5 years of age; 5% were teenagers. Few patients changed level of care during admission, but 10% did not need to be in hospital at the time of review. Median length of stay was 4 days, with children with level 3 needs having the longest lengths of stay. An under-provision of level 1 beds was demonstrated. HIV infection had been identified in 12% of admissions. While children with level 3 problems were well catered for in terms of bed provision, level 1 and step-down/home care provision were deficient or inefficiently utilised.

Authors' affiliations

Anthony Westwood, School of Child and Adolescent Health, University of Cape Town, and Department of Paediatrics, New Somerset Hospital, Cape Town

Michael Levin, School of Child and Adolescent Health, University of Cape Town, and Department of Paediatrics, New Somerset Hospital, Cape Town

Jo Hageman, Helderberg Hospital, Department of Health, Provincial Government of the Western Cape

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Keywords

Inpatient care

Cite this article

South African Journal of Child Health 2012;6(2):31-37.

Article History

Date submitted: 2012-02-15
Date published: 2012-05-25

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