Date of Award

Fall 10-28-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Respiratory Therapy

First Advisor

Douglas Gardenhire

Second Advisor

Ralph Zimmerman

Third Advisor

Robert Murray





Jenny Schott, BS, RRT

Sickle cell disease (SCD) and asthma most commonly affect African American children in the United States. SCD is an inherited disorder and one of the most prevalent genetic diseases worldwide. Acute chest syndrome (ACS) is a common complication associated with significant morbidity and is the leading cause of death among patients with sickle cell disease. Asthma is associated with an increase in SCD-related morbidity. Length of stay is a factor in determining costs and management of healthcare resources to this pediatric patient population. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to retrospectively investigate the length of stay for patients who have asthma, acute chest syndrome, and those with both asthma and acute chest syndrome in a pediatric population at an urban hospital. METHODS: A retrospective study using existing data from an urban tertiary children’s hospital inpatient unit between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. DATA ANALYSIS: Data analysis was performed using SPSS 17.0. Descriptive statistics were run for each variable. Contingency tables were run to determine if a patient’s age and diagnosis had significance on the hospital length of stay. Intercorrelations were run to determine if age, diagnosis, and length of stay had an effect on each other. Davis conventions were used to analyze the results. RESULTS: Descriptive statistics indicated the mean age at discharge to be 7.02 years old, SD = +4.695 and mean length of stay 2.57 days. The data also indicated that the mean LOS for asthma 2.32 days, SD = +1.773, mean LOS for acute chest syndrome 3.79 days, SD = +2.239, and a mean LOS for both asthma and acute chest syndrome 3.81 days, SD = +3.172. Contingency statistics showed a negligible association (reta = 0.071) between the patient’s age and diagnosis, and a low association (reta = 0.275) between the diagnosis and length of stay. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients showed that the patient’s age at discharge had a low association with length of stay (r = 0.238, p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: The pediatric patient’s age and diagnosis had very little impact of their length of stay within the hospital. The data also demonstrated that the patient population tended to be black, younger, have asthma as a discharge diagnosis, length of stay of less than 3 days, with a fairly even representation of males and females. Asthma represented the shortest length of stay, followed by acute chest syndrome, and then those patients with both asthma and acute chest syndrome, possibly suggesting that patients with co-morbidities have longer lengths of hospital stays.