Patients Hospitalized with pH1N1 Influenza in an Academic Community Medical Center

Hagit Bergman1, Lawrence L Livornese Jr1, Suryaprakash Sambhara2, Jerome Santoro1, Scott K Dessain*, 3
1 Department of Medicine, Lankenau Medical Center, Wynnewood, PA 19096, USA
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Influenza Division, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
3 Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, Wynnewood, PA 19096, USA

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© Bergman et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, Wynnewood, PA 19096, USA; Tel: 484-343-1799; Fax: 610-645-4623; E-mail:



The emergence of a novel strain of pandemic influenza (pH1N1) in 2009 presented significant challenges to health care facilities worldwide. In our academic community medical center in suburban Philadelphia, we noted our first pH1N1 diagnosis in September 2009. We sought to assess the impact of pH1N1 disease on our hospitalized patient population.


We prospectively collected clinical and epidemiological data on 29 consecutive patients that were admitted to our hospital with a primary or secondary diagnosis of influenza from October 1-November 30, 2009. Data were obtained through care of the patients and chart review.


Prominent symptoms on admission included fever, hypoxia, cough, myalgias, and diarrhea, with leukocytosis and neutrophilia. Pre-existing medical conditions included asthma, pregnancy, immunosuppressive therapy, and sickle cell disease. All but 5 of the patients were under 60 years of age. Three patients had culture-documented bacterial or mycoplasma infections. All but two of the patients received oseltamivir. Six required admission to the intensive care unit but only one patient died.


Our population of hospitalized patients with novel pH1N1 influenza demonstrated many of the features that have been associated with pH1N1 disease in other populations. Most of the patients were women and none of the patients died directly as a complication of influenza. We observed a cluster of patients with a tetrad of features comprising a history of asthma, obesity, female gender, and African-American race. Individuals with this constellation of factors should be specifically targeted for pH1N1 vaccination.

Keywords: pH1N1 Influenza, neutrophilia, vaccination, immunosuppression, PCR, RIDT..