Emergency Department Utilization and Serious Bacterial Infection Rates in Children with Renal Transplants

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Objectives: Emergency department (ED) visits by children with solid organ transplants have increased significantly. Our objectives were to describe the common complaints, diagnosis, types, and rates of serious bacterial infection (SBI) in children with renal transplant (RT) who present to the hospital. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study from 2012 to 2016 of RT children up to 18 years who presented to the ED or were directly admitted. We excluded patients who presented for a procedure. We collected demographics, transplant type, immunosuppressive data, chief complaints, diagnostic testing with results, interventions performed, and final diagnosis. Results: We analyzed 131 visits in 29 patients during the study period. Most common chief complaints were infectious (34.4%) and gastrointestinal (26%). Infection was proven in 42.0% of visits with only 3.1% being organ rejection. Serious bacterial infection was diagnosed in 34 visits (26.0%) with urinary tract infection (UTI) being the most common (20.6%). Of the 33 visits for fever, SBI occurred in 16 (48.5%) patients with the most common SBI being UTI 10 (30.3%). Bacteremia occurred in 1 patient and hypotension in 4 patients. Antibiotic administration was the most common intervention performed (78; 59.5%). Significant interventions were uncommon (2 patients). Logistic regression revealed no factors to be associated with SBI. Conclusions: Our cohort of children with RT presented most commonly with infections to the hospital with UTI being the most common SBI. Bacteremia and significant interventions were rare. Future studies are needed to identify subgroups of low-risk pediatric RT patients who can possibly be safely discharged home from the ED.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E47-E51
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Fever
  • Renal transplant
  • Serious bacterial infection


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