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Hospital admissions for throat infections among children

Throat infections can cause considerable problems for children and their families. For example, in the UK, throat infections are among the most common reasons for consulting a general practitioner and, if severe, can result in admission to hospital. In the past, tonsillectomy was commonly performed in children with recurrent throat infections but in recent years, the implementation of clinical guidelines has led to a decline in tonsillectomy rates.

In a paper published in the journal Archives of Diseases in Childhood, Elizabeth Koshy examined trends in admission rates from throat infections in children in England. They reported that age-standardised admission rates for throat infections increased by 76% from 107 to 188 admissions per 100 000 children. Koshy and colleagues concluded that this increase in admission rates was more likely to be due to changes in primary care and hospital services, rather than an increase in the number of children with severe infections or a consequence of a reduction in tonsillectomy rates. This conclusion needs to be confirmed through longitudinal studies using individual level data.

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