The impact of strict public health restrictions on pediatric critical illness

Aline B. Maddux*, Kristen Campbell, Alan G. Woodruff, Jaime LaVelle, Jeffrey Lutmer, Curt E. Kennedy, Marcelo Malakooti, John K. McGuire, Lara Shekerdemian, Z. Leah Harris, Michael C. McCrory, Todd C. Carpenter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To characterize the impact of public health interventions on the volume and characteristics of admissions to the PICU. DESIGN: Multicenter retrospective cohort study. SETTING: Six U.S. referral PICUs during February 15, 2020 May 14, 2020, compared with the same months during 2017 2019 (baseline). PATIENTS: PICU admissions excluding admissions for illnesses due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and readmissions during the same hospitalization. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Primary outcome was admission volumes during the period of stay-At-home orders (March 15, 2020 May 14, 2020) compared with baseline. Secondary outcomes were hospitalization characteristics including advanced support (e.g., invasive mechanical ventilation), PICU and hospital lengths of stay, and mortality. We used generalized linear mixed modeling to compare patient and admission characteristics during the stay-At-home orders period to baseline. We evaluated 7,960 admissions including 1,327 during March 15, 2020 May 14, 2020. Daily admissions and patients days were lower during the period of stay-At-home orders compared with baseline: median admissions 21 (interquartile range, 17 25) versus 36 (interquartile range, 30 42) (p < 0.001) and median patient days 93.0 (interquartile range, 55.9 136.7) versus 143.6 (interquartile range, 108.5 189.2) (p < 0.001). Admissions during the period of stay-At-home orders were less common in young children and for respiratory and infectious illnesses and more common for poisonings, endocrinopathies and for children with race/ethnicity categorized as other/unspecified. There were no differences in hospitalization characteristics except fewer patients received noninvasive ventilation during the period of stay-At-home orders. CONCLUSIONS: Reductions in PICU admissions suggest that much of pediatric critical illness in younger children and for respiratory and infectious illnesses may be preventable through targeted public health strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2033-2041
Number of pages9
JournalCritical care medicine
Volume49
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Epidemiology
  • Intensive care units
  • Patient admission
  • Pediatric
  • Primary prevention
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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