Nationwide analysis of mortality and hospital readmissions in esophageal atresia

Hallie J. Quiroz, Alexa Turpin, Brent A. Willobee, Anthony Ferrantella, Joshua Parreco, David Lasko, Eduardo A. Perez, Juan E. Sola, Chad M. Thorson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to identify determinants of mortality and hospital readmission in infants born with esophageal atresia ± tracheoesophageal fistula. Methods: The Nationwide Readmissions Database (2010–2014) was queried for newborns with a diagnosis of esophageal atresia. Outcomes included mortality and readmissions at 30-day and 1-year. Results: 3157 patients were identified, of which 54% were male. 81% had an additional congenital anomaly, and 35% had VACTERL association. Overall mortality at index hospitalization was 11% (n = 360) and was significantly higher with additional congenital anomalies (13%), VACTERL (19%), and Spitz classification II/III (18%) vs. isolated esophageal atresia/tracheoesophageal fistula (4%), all p < 0.001. After esophageal atresia repair (n = 2179), 10% (n = 212) were readmitted within 30 days and 26% (n = 563) within 1 year, with 17% admitted to different hospitals. Common diagnoses during readmission were GERD (54%), infections (42%), failure to thrive (17%), tracheomalacia (14%), and esophageal stricture (10%). Unplanned readmissions accounted for 85% of readmissions. A large number underwent operative procedures, most commonly esophageal dilation (17%) and fundoplication/gastrostomy (12%). Conclusion: Our study has uncovered a high likelihood of complications and unplanned readmission within the first year of life for newborns with esophageal atresia. Coordinated multidisciplinary care may help to decrease unnecessary readmissions and improve outcomes in this vulnerable population. Type of study: Retrospective comparative analysis. Level of evidence: Level III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)824-829
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Esophageal atresia
  • Infants
  • Outcomes
  • Readmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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