Common Infections Among Disabled Children Admitted to Hospital


Background: Disability is a relatively common problem in children. The pattern of admission in these children and their common infections may differ from other children because of their special disabilities.

Objectives: We aimed to determine common infectious diseases resulting in admission of these children to our hospital.

Patients and Methods: Between September 2006 and September 2007, 60 disabled children aged between 4 months and 15 years were admitted to infectious ward of Mofid children hospital Tehran, Iran. A questionnaire was filled at the time of admission, containing particular details of their recent complaint. They were completely examined and the final diagnosis was established at the time of discharge.

Results: In this study 25 (42%) boys and 35 (58%) girls aged from 4 to168 months were included. The patients were divided practically into three groups: 21 patients (35%) with physical or developmental disabilities, 8 (13%) patients with mental or behavioral disabilities, and 31 (52%) patients with both developmental and mental disabilities. The common diseases among these children were lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) in 24 patients (40%), urinary tract infections (UTI) in 8 patients (13.3%), and nonspecific infections in 9 patients (15%). Dental caries and periodontal problems were significantly higher in children having both mental and developmental disabilities this correlation was similar between different types of disability and skeletal deformity (P = 0.006). Children having both mental and developmental disabilities were admitted more than children with either of those disabilities (P = 0.08).

Conclusions: Lower respiratory tract infections were the most common reasons for admission of these children in our study, but we found no significant correlation between the type of disability and one special infectious disease. We need more prospective studies to complete our findings.