Evaluation of Organ Dysfunction Scores for Allocation of Scarce Resources in Critically Ill Children and Adults during a Healthcare Crisis∗

L. Nelson Sanchez-Pinto*, William F. Parker, Anoop Mayampurath, Sabrina Derrington, Kelly N. Michelson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: When healthcare systems are overwhelmed, accurate assessments of patients' predicted mortality risks are needed to ensure effective allocation of scarce resources. Organ dysfunction scores can serve this essential role, but their evaluation in this context has been limited so far. In this study, we sought to assess the performance of three organ dysfunction scores in both critically ill adults and children at clinically relevant mortality thresholds and timeframes for resource allocation and compare it with two published prioritization schemas. Design: Retrospective observational cohort study. SETTING: Three large academic medical centers in the United States. PATIENTS: Critically ill adults and children. Interventions: None. Measurements and Main Results: We calculated the daily Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score in adults and the Pediatric Logistic Organ Dysfunction 2 score and the Pediatric Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score in children. There were 49,290 (11.6% mortality) and 19,983 children (2.5% mortality) included in the analysis. Both the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment and Pediatric Sequential Organ Failure Assessment scores had adequate discrimination across relevant timeframes and adequate distribution across relevant mortality thresholds. Additionally, we found that the only published state prioritization schema that includes pediatric and adult patients had poor alignment of mortality risks, giving adults a systematic advantage over children. Conclusions: In the largest analysis of organ dysfunction scores in a general population of critically ill adults and children to date, we found that both the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment and Pediatric Sequential Organ Failure Assessment scores had adequate performance across relevant mortality thresholds and timeframes for resource allocation. Published prioritization schemas that include both pediatric and adult patients may put children at a disadvantage. Furthermore, the distribution of patient and mortality risk in the published schemas may not adequately stratify patients for some high-stakes allocation decisions. This information may be useful to bioethicists, healthcare leaders, and policy makers who are developing resource allocation policies for critically ill patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number004774
Pages (from-to)271-281
Number of pages11
JournalCritical care medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • and services
  • critical care
  • electronic health records
  • health resources
  • healthcare facilities
  • manpower
  • organ dysfunction scores
  • pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of Organ Dysfunction Scores for Allocation of Scarce Resources in Critically Ill Children and Adults during a Healthcare Crisis∗'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this