Blackmore et al reported risk factors for hospital admissions for respiratory illness affecting a pediatric patient with cerebral palsy (CP). These can help to identify a patient who may benefit from more aggressive management. The authors are from multiple institutions in Western Australia.

Patient selection: patient with cerebral palsy from 1 to 26 years of age


Outcome: hospital admission for respiratory illness over a 3-year period. Most of the risk factors listed are associated with aspiration pneumonia.


Risk factors for a hospital admission for respiratory illness:

(1) Gross Motor Function Classification Scale level V (totally dependent with mobility severely limited)

(2) >= 1 respiratory hospital admission in the previous year

(3) >= 2 courses of antibiotics in the year preceding the survey

(4) oropharyngeal dysphagia

(5) dysphagia

(6) seizures

(7) frequent respiratory symptoms

(8) gastro-esophageal reflux disease

(9) mealtime respiratory symptoms

(10) nocturnal snoring


The risk of hospital admission for a respiratory illness increases with the number of risk factors present.

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