Original Study| Volume 31, ISSUE 5, P446-450, October 2018

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Hematologic Considerations and Management of Adolescent Girls with Heavy Menstrual Bleeding and Anemia in US Children's Hospitals


      Study Objective

      To assess the frequency, severity, and inpatient management of girls admitted with heavy menstrual bleeding and iron deficiency anemia at US children's hospitals, with a focus on hematologic considerations.


      Retrospective multicenter cohort study from October 2012 through September 2015.


      Children's hospitals submitting data to the Pediatric Health Information System.


      Female patients, age 8-18 years, admitted with heavy menstrual bleeding and anemia as either a primary or secondary diagnosis. Patients with cancer, immune thrombocytopenic purpura, aplastic anemia, and pregnancy were excluded.

      Interventions and Main Outcome Measures

      Hemostatic evaluation; provision of iron therapy.


      We identified 1183 admissions (1134 unique patients). Patients’ median (interquartile range) age was 14 (11-17) years. Forty-one percent were Caucasian (n = 480), 31% African American (n = 371), and 26% Hispanic ethnicity (n = 310). Intensive care use occurred in 5% of admissions (n = 56). Hemostatic assessment was inconsistent; 15% (n = 182) had no such evaluation. Two-thirds (n = 797; 67%) involved transfusions, 37% (n = 433) received no inpatient iron therapy, and 17% (n = 197) received no hormonal or antifibrinolytic therapy. Hemostatic evaluation was associated with intensive care use: odds ratio (OR), 4.80 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.16-19.86; P = .03); emergency department visit: OR, 2.60 (95% CI, 1.86-3.65; P < .01); private insurance: OR, 1.62 (95% CI, 1.12-2.35; P = .01); and younger age: OR, 0.84 (95% CI, 0.77-0.92; P < .01).


      Hundreds of girls with heavy menstrual bleeding and anemia are hospitalized at US children's hospitals each year with variable inpatient hematologic evaluation and management. Future guidelines should emphasize early identification of at-risk patients and promote effective implementation strategies to reduce the burden of this preventable complication.

      Key Words

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