Adolescents in Santo André Hospital: health needs.

Núria Madureira, Raquel Santos, Pascoal Moleiro


In the context of the National Health Youth Program, Department of Pediatrics of Santo André Hospital (SAH) has as one of its objectives to extend its age limit up to 18 years of age.To evaluate adolescents' health needs followed up at SAH and to determine the impact of the proposed new age limit policy.Retrospective descriptive study that included adolescents (10-18 years old) seen at the emergency department (ED), outpatients or admitted to the pediatric ward between 2000 and 2004.Adolescents represented 7.3% (average) of all the patients seen at SAH during this period. Approximately 11130 adolescents were seen yearly in the ED, 57% of these in the pediatric ED, 39.5% in general ED, and 3.5% in obstetrics/gynecology ED (the majority of these patients were between the ages of 15 and 18). Medical causes represented 53% of the final diagnosis and 43% were surgical related. The average number of outpatients consultations was 7657 per year and of these, 25% were seen by pediatricians (87% were 10 to 14 years of age). The specialties with the greatest number of consultations were: dentistry (13.3%), orthopedics (13.1%), ear, and nose and throat specialist (8.3%), ophthalmology (7.7%), dermatology (7.2%), psychiatric (5.3%) and obstetrics (5.2%). General medicine and other medical specialties were responsible for 6.4% of the consultations. Yearly about 590 adolescents were admitted, 60.3% in the pediatric ward regardless of the underlying cause. The remaining were admitted to the surgical ward, orthopedics ward and obstetrics/gynecology ward.With the proposed new age limit policy we expect a 10% overall increase in the numbers of patients in the pediatric ED, 6.4% in the pediatric outpatients and 15.5 as inpatients. Adolescents will represent 33.7 of the pediatrics total inpatients population. Management of the patients will require the development of new installations, the training of medical professionals, both pediatric and adult health careers, that will in the future deal with this patient group.

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