High and increasing rates of skin infection hospitalisation for Pacific children in Aotearoa
Oben, Glenda; Duncanson, Mavis
Background: Skin and subcutaneous tissue infections are common among children, and are typically bacterial in origin (e.g. impetigo, cellulitis, and skin abscesses which can be caused by Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes). Hospitalisations are potentially avoidable through good primary care. Rates of childhood skin infections in Aotearoa are the highest amongst Western countries , and high risk of hospitalisation for Māori and Pacific children and children living in areas of high socioeconomic deprivation. The hospitalisation rates of skin infections in Aotearoa has been gradually increasing, most notably for Pacific children. The study outlines the epidemiology of Pacific children hospitalised with skin infections. Methods: This study undertook a retrospective analysis of acute and arranged hospitalisations of children aged 0–14 years with a primary diagnosis of serious skin infection (ICD-10-AM L00–L08, H00.0, H01.0, J34.0, L98.0) from 2000 to 2018. Results: The hospitalisation rate for children aged under-15 years with a skin infection increased by 19% from 3.0 per 1,000 in 2000 to 3.5 in 2018. For Pacific children, rates increased significantly (by 36%) from 6.7 per 1,000 in 2000 to 9.2 in 2018. Within the Pacific children hospitalised for skin infections, under-5 year olds have had rates consistently higher than those aged 5–9 and 10–14 years, however, hospitalisation rates have increased significantly for these older age groups. Over 80% of skin infection hospitalisations of Pacific children were for ‘cutaneous abscess, furuncle and carbuncle’ or for cellulitis. Hospitalisation rates for these conditions have increased since 2000, particularly for cellulitis. Conclusion: Given the high hospitalisation rate for Pacific children with skin infections, and the increasing rates of hospitalisation for 5–14 year olds, an effective strategy to promote targeted community-level prevention of skin infections and early access to treatment in primary care is recommended for reducing skin infection-associated hospitalisations.
Conference: Paediatric Society of New Zealand 71st Annual Scientific Meeting, Auckland, New Zealand
Keywords: Skin infections; Pasifika; Pacific; Children; Tamariki; New Zealand; Aotearoa; Hospitisations
Research Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Oral presentation)