Exploring the impact of air pollution exposure on pediatric anesthesia patients at a Children’s Hospital

Authors: Jonathan M. Tan*, Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Geography and Urban Health, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Geospatial Analysis, Electronic Health Record, Geographic Information System, Environmental Health, Air Pollution
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 8
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Electronic health records (EHR) can provide a rich source of data to support clinical care, research and health care administration. EHRs, however can be limited in the ability to understand the impact that environmental exposures, such as air pollution can have on individual patients. Environmental exposures are usually not recorded in the normal course of care. Integrating EHR data with environmental exposure data using spatial linkage can significantly augment our ability to identify at-risk patients and develop specific clinical interventions that address the needs of patients. Environmental influences on disease can be analyzed in the context of EHRs and other datasets using location as a unifying and powerful common data element. Our study presents the application of geospatial analysis with EHR data to explore the variation in outdoor air pollution exposure that children have prior to undergoing general anesthesia care. Understanding the risks of air pollution exposure with children can allow us to then study the impact of chronic air pollution exposure on clinical outcomes such as severe respiratory adverse events that can occur during anesthesia and surgery. While previous studies have been conducted on the risks of air pollution on asthma exacerbations, no study to date has analyzed the impact of air pollution on respiratory adverse events in the perioperative period at scale. Lastly, we will describe the process, benefits and challenges of integrating geospatial analysis with EHRs while highlighting future directions.

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