Huge jump in children’s admissions for infection
Thursday, 3 November 2011
Hospital admissions for infectious or parasitic disease rose by 10% overall last year, and much faster among children, the latest NHS figures reveal. Admissions for obesity also rose by 10% last year, but have almost tripled over the past four years alone.
In contrast, hospital admissions generally rose by only 2% last year, show today’s Hospital Episode Statistics.
Hospitalisations of children under 15 with viral infections rose by 29% in just one year, between 2009-10 and 2010-11 – and have risen by a staggering 84% since 2006-07.
Infectious and parasitic disease accounted for 201,800 hospital admissions in 2010-11, compared with 183,300 in 2009-10. The number of children admitted with “viral infection of unspecified site” has jumped dramatically, from 34,200 in 2006-07, to 48,700 in 2009-10, and then to 62,800 last year. These figures do not include children’s admissions for viral hepatitis (which rose from 126 to 170 last year) or influenza (which fell from 3070 to 2040).
NHS Information Centre chief executive Tim Straughan said: “What is clear from the data is a very large rise in admissions for viral disease among children; a trend that will be of interest to health professionals, the NHS and the public.”
The HES report also shows that although obesity accounts for far fewer hospitalisations than infection, it lies behind one of the biggest rises in inpatient treatment seen in the past four years. In 2010-11 there were 11,700 admissions for obesity, compared with 10,700 in the previous year and 3,880 in 2006-07. Admissions for eating disorders rose by 2% over those four years.