Background and Aims Respiratory tract infection (RTI) among children is one of the most common reasons for physician visits and hospitalization and associated with significant morbidity. It is a leading cause of sickness among school children and parental absenteeism from work. Accordingly, this study was conducted to evaluate the spectrum of the respiratory tract infections among the children attending the outpatient department (OPD) of pediatrics in GMC Hospital, Ajman.
Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted from the medical records of pediatric patients (aged 0–12 years) diagnosed with RTIs during January 2011 at GMC Hospital, Ajman. The demographic data and the clinical diagnosis were analyzed (descriptive statistics) using SPSS version 19.
Results A total of 2416 patients attended the OPD of pediatrics during the study period of which RTI accounted for 20.2% (n=488). 55.5% (n=271) were males and 44.5 (n=217) were females. Majority of the patients were Egyptians followed by Emiratis and Indians. Forty six percent of the patients (225) were between 1–5 years of age. The four most commonly diagnosed RTIs were unspecified upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) (20.3%), common cold combined with bronchitis (17.8%), tonsillitis (8.8%), followed by bronchitis (8%) in rank order. URTI was most commonly presented by children of 1–5 years (50.5%), while common cold combined with bronchitis was frequent among those below 1 year (47.1%).
Conclusions Comparable to previous reports upper respiratory tract infections were the most common RTI among this population and children of 1–5 years were most vulnerable to RTI.