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Overview of Children in the Emergency Department

Children accounted for about 20% of all visits to the emergency department in 2010 — over 25.5 million visits. Most [96%] were treated and released rather than being admitted to the hospital.

What were the most common reasons for pediatric ED visits? Injury and poisoning, respiratory disorders, and nervous system disorders topped the list. For those ED visits resulting in a hospital admission, acute bronchitis was the most frequent cause.

Medicaid was the largest expected payer for ED visits by children through age 9. For children aged 10-17, Medicaid and private insurance covered similar proportions of the pediatric ED visits.

Source: Wier LM and others. Overview of children in the emergency department. HCUP Statistical Brief [Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality] no. 157, June 2013. http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb157.pdf

Related resources:

HCUPnet: Statistics on emergency department use. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, accessed Sept. 19, 2013 at http://hcupnet.ahrq.gov/

FastStats: Emergency department visits. National Center for Health Statistics, accessed Sept. 19, 2013 at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/ervisits.htm

Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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