Sepsis evaluations in hospitalized infants with bronchiolitis

Juli A. Antonow, Kim Hansen, Craig A. Mckinstry, Carrie L. Byington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Objectives. To define variation in the decision to perform a sepsis evaluation in hospitalized infants with bronchiolitis, to define predictors of the decision and to measure the clinical and cost outcomes. Methods. Retrospective chart review of all nonintensive care unit infants ≤60 days with any discharge diagnosis of bronchiolitis (n = 282 from 1993 to 1995 in a 232-bed pediatric hospital. Process variables included temperature at sepsis work-up or T(max) if no sepsis workup. Outcome variables were charges, length of stay, sepsis workup and serious bacterial infection. Results. There was no difference in mean temperature between groups with or without sepsis evaluation (38.1°C, P = 0.75). Of 282 infants 140 had a sepsis workup; 5 (1.8%) had serious bacterial infection. Infants with sepsis workup had an average total charge of $4507 and length of stay of 3.4 days compared with $2998 and 2.8 days for those without (P = 0.0001 and P = 0.002, respectively). A multivariate logistic regression model was constructed with sepsis workup as the dichotomous dependent variable. Significant (P ≤ 0.05) predictor variables with a positive coefficient were: higher bronchiolitis score and normal chest roentgenogram. Significant variables with a negative coefficient were: admission diagnosis of bronchiolitis, chest roentgenogram typical for bronchiolitis and age >28 days. Conclusion. Temperature was not a predictor of sepsis evaluation. Infants with respiratory distress and normal chest roentgenogram were more likely to receive sepsis evaluations; those with recognized typical and those >28 days of age were less likely. Risk of serious bacterial infection is low; the costs of a sepsis evaluation outweigh the benefits in infants with obvious bronchiolitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-236
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1998


  • Bronchiolitis
  • Outcomes
  • Sepsis
  • Sepsis evaluation
  • Serious bacterial infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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