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Treating Children with Upper Respiratory Infections

What was measured?

What percentage of children in the HMO, ages 3 months to 18 years, who had an upper respiratory infection (common cold) were not given an antibiotic - medicines that don't work for these viral infections.

These results are based on a sample of HMO patient administrative records.

Why is it important?

About 1 of every 5 children each year are wrongly given an antibiotic medication for their cold - antibiotics don't work for these viral infections. These children are put at risk for the medication's side effects, and the overuse of antibiotics can reduce their effectiveness in treating other conditions.
 

Look for differences of at least four percentage points.

Smaller differences are often not significant.

Treating Children with Upper Respiratory Infections
Health Plan (HMO) Rating
  • 0% (worse)
  • (better) 100%
Kaiser Permanente - Northern California 94%
CIGNA HealthCare of California 83%
Blue Cross of California - HMO 80%
Health Net of California 77%