BACKGROUND: Secondary intracranial infections are a persistent health concern despite advancements in medicine and improvements in surgical care. Previous studies have reported on the incidence of infection and outcomes in the immunocompromised patient, yet few studies have investigated demographic elements linked to contracting a secondary intracranial infection, a preventable disease.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to uniquely describe immunocompetent pediatric patients with secondary intracranial infections and further examine the socioeconomic and sociodemographic factors that may put them at higher risk of acquiring an infection.
METHODS: A retrospective review was conducted for patients presenting with intracranial infections to the regional Children’s Hospital between 2001 and 2014. Patients with a previous history of neurosurgical disease or procedure were excluded. A Z test for proportions was performed to detect significant variations between demographic groups.
RESULTS: A total of 41 patients were included in the study sample. From 2001 to 2014, 63.4% of patients diagnosed with intracranial infections were white, and 36.5% were other/nonwhite. This incidence of infection varied significantly between white and nonwhite (P = .015). At Children’s Hospital, 19.5% of patients were privately insured and 80.5% had public health insurance. The most notable variation of a secondary intracranial infection was health insurance; 51% of Louisiana children carry public insurance, yet they represent more than 80% of disease incidence (P < .001).
CONCLUSION: Improving access to care and treatment for underinsured populations may contribute to a decrease in secondary intracranial infection cases.
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