Posthemorrhagic Hydrocephalus in Preterm Neonates: Socioeconomic Characteristics in a Single-Institution ExperiencePendleton C.a · Cristofalo E.A.b · Biondo G.N.a · Jallo G.I.a · Quiñones-Hinojosa A.a · Ahn E.S.a
Departments of aNeurosurgery and bPediatrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md., USA
Patients with posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH) from germinal matrix hemorrhage of prematurity often require numerous early interventions, as well as long-term follow-up care from pediatric neurosurgeons, which continues to place high demands on the existing workforce and pediatric health care system. There are established correlations between premature birth and low socioeconomic status. The aim of this study is to characterize the demographic profile and follow-up patterns in this subpopulation of surgically treated infants with PHH from prematurity. Methods: A retrospective analysis of the electronic patient records for a single institution, from 2007 to 2010, was performed. All patients who underwent neurosurgical intervention for the treatment of PHH were selected for further analysis. Data elements available within the records included patient demographic features, inpatient treatments and procedures, inpatient mortality rates, length of stay, and postoperative follow-up at the institution. Socioeconomic status was assessed using the median household income for the patient’s zip code, as reported in the United States Census for the year 2000. Results: A total of 40 patients who underwent neurosurgical intervention for PHH at a single institution were identified. More patients were female (52.5%); the majority of patients were Black (57.5%). No patients were uninsured; most patients had public insurance (62.5%), and 65% were below the Maryland State median household income (USD 52,868). There were trends toward more frequent emergency room visits among those covered by public insurance and those below the state and national median house income, although differences were not statistically significant. Conclusions: Our data indicate that the majority of patients fall within lower household income brackets, are born into households earning less than the statewide median household income, and are covered by public insurance. In light of the socioeconomic profile of the patient population reported here, these data may prove to be useful in preventative strategies aimed toward prematurity, PHH, and the ongoing treatment of hydrocephalus by pediatric neurosurgeons and other pediatric subspecialists.
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