Aim: To determine whether the treatment with oseltamivir improves the outcome of children with confirmed influenza infection and no other underlying disease.
Methods: Multicentric, retrospective study performed in 10 hospitals of Madrid between September 2010 and June 2012. All children admitted to the hospitals with confirmed influenza infections were eligible. Children with risk factors for serious disease and nosocomial influenza infections were excluded. Asthma was not considered an exclusion factor. The study compared patients treated and untreated with oseltamivir. Fever duration, oxygen support, antibiotics administration, length of hospital stay, intensive care admission and bacterial complications were analyzed. To compare variables, χ2 test, Fisher exact test, ANOVA or Mann-Whitney U test were used.
Results: Two hundred eighty-seven children were included and 93 of them were treated with oseltamivir (32%). There were no significant differences between treated and untreated patients in days of fever after admission (1.7 ± 2; 2.1 ± 2.9, P > 0.05), length of stay (5.2 ± 3.6; 5.5 ± 3.4, P > 0.05), days of hypoxia (1.6 ± 2.3; 2.1 ± 2.9, P > 0.05), diagnosis of bacterial pneumonia (10%; 17%, P > 0.05), intensive care admission (6.5%; 1.5%,P > 0.05) or antibiotic prescription (44%; 51%, P > 0.05). There were no differences when the population was stratified by age (below or over 1 year) or by the presence or absence of asthma.
Conclusions: There were no proven benefits of treatment with oseltamivir in hospitalized pediatric patients without the underlying diseases or risk factors for developing a serious illness, including those with asthma.