Pneumonia causes about three million deaths a year in young children; nearly all of them are in developing countries. Most of pneumonias are caused by microorganisms but a number of non-infectious agents could be the etiologic agent. The aim of this study was to determine the epidemiological, clinical and laboratory characteristics of pediatric patients admitted to Amirkola Children's Hospital, Babol/Iran because of pneumonia.
Material & Methods:
This cross-sectional study was done on pediatric patients, aged 1 month to 12 years who were hospitalized with a final diagnosis of pneumonia. From 2003 to 2005 a total of 404 cases with a diagnosis of pneumonia were recorded. The diagnosis was based on physical examination, result of chest radiography and laboratory findings. The epidemiologic, clinical and laboratory characteristics were recorded and analyzed by SPSS 10 software.
Sex distribution showed male 58.6%, female 41.4%. The mean age of boys was significantly less than girls (P=0.02). Admissions more than once because of pneumonia were seen in 10% of the patients. The most common clinical signs and symptoms were positive pulmonary auscultation, cough and increased respiratory rate. ESR and CRP were elevated in 66% and 65.8% respectively. The blood culture was positive in 3.5% of cases and the predominant bacteria isolated was Haemophilus influenzae
type b. The mortality rate of pneumonia in this study was 1.2%.
Although cases of positive culture for bacterial infection in our study population seem to be low, the predominance of Haemophilus influenzae
type b in comparison to the similar studies in developed countries necessitates the vaccination of target population against this microorganism.