Background and Aims Acute respiratory failure is the most frequent reason for admission in a pediatric emergency department. This study aimed to investigate the epidemiological characteristics of patients admitted with acute respiratory failure.
Methods We performed a retrospective study regarding the period September 2009–January 2012 that included all patients admitted with the diagnosis of acute respiratory failure in “Grigore Alexandrescu” Children Emergency Hospital in Bucharest; we evaluated: personal data (sex, age), time of admission (year, month, day, hour, hospitalization period), admission diagnosis and co morbidities. Statistical analyze was performed with Microsoft Excel and SPSS.
Results We had 836 patients admitted for acute respiratory failure being 3.14% of all hospitalised patients and 5.4% of all patients suffering of respiratory diseases; the mean age of our study group was 2years9months. Sex distribution indicates 537 boys and 299 girl, p=0.00. The maximum incidence was in 2010 (mean 33cases/month), in October (15.2%), between 18.00–21.00 p.m.(17.6%). In the majority of cases we claim that acute pneumonia (48.7%) was the main cause of respiratory impairment followed by bronchiolitis (25.4%) and asthma (9.1%). Rare causes of respiratory failure were: intoxications, neurological conditions, cardiac malformations and diabetes.
Conclusions Acute respiratory failure still remains an important issue of pediatric emergency departments. The diseases complicated with acute respiratory failure are various and sometimes surprising.