The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2023 , Vol 65 , Num 4
Rehospitalization indications of children hospitalized for COVID-19 infections after discharge: Should we suspect long COVID?
Ela Cem 1 ,Elif Kıymet 1 ,Elif Böncüoğlu 1 ,Şahika Şahinkaya 1 ,Miray Yılmaz Çelebi 1 ,Mustafa Gülderen 1 ,Aybüke Akaslan Kara 1 ,Gizem Güner Özenen 1 ,Nuri Bayram 1 ,İlker Devrim 1
1 Department of Paediatric Infectious Diseases, University of Health Sciences Dr. Behçet Uz Children’s Hospital, İzmir, Türkiye DOI : 10.24953/turkjped.2022.829 Background. Complications that may develop in children after coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections are unknown. The `Long COVID` syndrome is a new process that can also be identified in children. Therefore, in this study, the conditions that may develop in children after COVID-19 infection were discussed, and the indications for rehospitalizations were reviewed.

Methods. This retrospective cohort study was conducted in a tertiary children`s hospital in İzmir, Türkiye. All children who were rehospitalized in the study center after discharge, and the indications for readmissions were screened.

Results. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 777 children with COVID-19 infection were hospitalized, including 98 (12.6%) cases rehospitalized for any indication. Fifty-five (56.1%) patients were male, and 43 (43.9%) were female. The mean age of the study population was 79.3±63.5 months (1 month to 17 years). Among these 98 patients, 76 (77.6%) were rehospitalized because of the presence of their primary underlying disease, nonspecific infectious diseases unrelated to COVID-19, and the need to perform certain surgical procedures. The remaining 22 (22.4%) patients presented with symptoms such as fatigue, fever, abdominal pain, and myalgia after the COVID-19 infection. No other underlying cause was detected in approximately one-third of the patients, whose manifestations were found to be consistent with long COVID syndrome.

Conclusions. The findings of acute COVID-19 infection are well characterized, but there is still limited data on its long-term outcomes. The majority of the study population that had no underlying disease were thought to have complications from the COVID-19 infection. Therefore, although the incidence rate of long COVID syndrome in childhood has not been revealed so far, it should be kept in mind among relevant differential diagnoses. Keywords : Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARSCoV- 2), long COVID, rehospitalization

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