For a study, researchers sought to investigate demographic, clinical, and hospital characteristics linked to readmission mortality within 180 days after an inpatient hospitalization.

They conducted a retrospective cohort analysis from January 2010 to June 2020, including 33 US children’s hospitals in the Pediatric Health Information System. The primary outcome for children aged 0 to 18 years was death during readmission within 180 days of an index hospitalization. The All Patient-Refined Diagnosis-Related Group classified disease severity as minor, moderate, or major/extreme during the index hospitalization. They used multivariable logistic regression to identify characteristics related to death during readmission during the index hospitalization. 

About 337,385 (12.6%) of the 2,677,111 children released were readmitted within 180 days of the index hospitalization, and 2,913 (0.8%) died during readmission. More than a quarter (26.2%) of fatalities in children who were readmitted and died happened within 10 days after release from the index hospitalization. Multiple complicated chronic diseases, index admissions lasting more than 7 days, moderate or severe/extreme sickness during the index hospitalization, and public insurance were all independently related to death during readmission. Children whose race was recorded as Black had a higher risk of death during readmission than children of other races.

Several demographic and clinical variables present during index hospitalizations were related to death during readmission among hospitalized children. Children whose race was recorded as Black had a higher risk of dying during readmission, which presumably reflects differences in socioeconomic determinants of health and clinical treatment. Interventions to prevent readmission mortality may target high-risk patients in the days after discharge.