2418 children aged 0-14 years were admitted to hospital with respiratory infections; 2396 recovered and 22 (0·9%) died.
Previous respiratory illness had been experienced by 5·6%; 2·6% had congenital heart disease and 0·6% cystic fibrosis.
Antibiotics were given in every category of illness; the frequency varied from 68% in colds to 97% in pneumonia. Oxygen was given to 14% of children with croup, 29% with bronchiolitis and 13% with pneumonia. No child with upper respiratory infection or croup died. The case mortality in the 1295 children with lower respiratory infections was 1·7%: 0·6% in bronchitis, 0·7% in bronchiolitis, and 3·1% in pneumonia.
Pathogenic infective agents were isolated in half the deaths; and in 36% predisposing malformations or disease were present.
With a limited study of management and outcome deductions must be made with caution. It suggests, however, that therapy based on understanding of the infective agents and the respiratory dysfunction to which they give rise is not as yet generally applied.
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