A report from The Hospitalist provides the background and results of a study that explored the role of inpatient polysomnograms for pediatric patients with medical complexity.

Background: Sleep-disordered breathing is more common in certain pediatric populations. Children with neuromuscular disease, craniofacial or tracheobronchial malformations, or developmental delay have up to 10 times the rate of sleep-disordered breathing as compared to the general pediatric population, with a prevalence as high as 40%. It is recommended that patients with neuromuscular conditions get annual polysomnograms (PSGs). The medical complexity and requirement for nursing and respiratory care makes it challenging to obtain routine outpatient PSGs in this population. This study is the first of its kind to examine the characteristics of patients receiving inpatient PSGs and to determine the effects the findings of these studies had on the patients’ care.

Study design: Retrospective case series.

Setting: Single, large, academic medical center.

Synopsis: Eight-five PSGs were completed on 70 patients during the study period. These occurred primarily in the pediatric intensive care unit (50 patients) but also in the neonatal intensive care unit (five patients) and the general pediatric floor (15 patients). The mean age of patients was 6.5 years, and 60% were male.

The most common diagnoses in this group were airway obstruction due to craniofacial abnormalities or defects of the tracheobronchial tree (54%), chronic respiratory failure (34%), hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (23%), and genetic syndromes (14%). All sleep studies were successfully completed using the center’s dedicated sleep technicians and PSG scoring staff. There were no complications associated with the PSGs.

Read the full story at www.the-hospitalist.org