Children from neighborhoods with a low Child Opportunity Index (COI) have higher ED use overall and, in particular, more visits that could be managed by pediatricians, according to a study published in Pediatrics. Sunitha V. Kaiser, MD, and colleagues used data from 49 US children’s hospitals to assess ED visits in children aged 0-17 during 2018-2019, for a total of 6.8 million visits by 4.0 million children. Low-resource intensity (LRI) visits (no laboratories, imaging, procedures, or admission) were more likely among children from very low COI neighborhoods versus very high COI neighborhoods (ORs, 1.35, 1.97, and 2.4 for one LRI visit, at least two LRI visits, and at least three LRI visits, respectively). Any ED utilization was more likely among children from very low versus very high COI neighborhoods (ORs, 1.73 and 2.22 for at least two LRI visits and at least three LRI visits, respectively). In contrast, the risk for hospital admission from the ED was lower for children from very low versus very high COI neighborhoods (OR, 0.77).
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