Epidemiology of Death in the PICU at Five U.S. Teaching Hospitals*

Title

Epidemiology of Death in the PICU at Five U.S. Teaching Hospitals*

Creator

Burns JP; Sellers DE; Meyer EC; Lewis-Newby M; Truog RD

Publisher

Critical Care Medicine

Date

2014

Subject

retrospective studies; cause of death; child mortality; PICU

Description

OBJECTIVE: To determine the epidemiology of death in PICUs at 5 geographically diverse teaching hospitals across the United States. DESIGN: Prospective case series. SETTING: Five U.S. teaching hospitals. SUBJECTS: We concurrently identified 192 consecutive patients who died prior to discharge from the PICU. Each site enrolled between 24 and 50 patients. Each PICU had similar organizational and staffing structures. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The overall mortality rate was 2.39% (range, 1.85-3.38%). One hundred thirty-three patients (70%) died following the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatments, 30 (16%) were diagnosed as brain dead, and 26 (14%) died following an unsuccessful resuscitation attempt. Fifty-seven percent of all deaths occurred within the first week of admission; these patients, who were more likely to have new onset illnesses or injuries, included the majority of those who died following unsuccessful cardiopulmonary resuscitation attempts or brain death diagnoses. Patients who died beyond 1-week length of stay in the PICU were more likely to have preexisting diagnoses, to be technology dependent prior to admission, and to have died following the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment. Only 64% of the patients who died following the withholding or withdrawing of life support had a formal do-not-resuscitate order in place at the time of their death. CONCLUSIONS: The mode of death in the PICU is proportionally similar to that reported over the past two decades, while the mortality rate has nearly halved. Death is largely characterized by two fairly distinct profiles that are associated with whether death occurs within or beyond 1-week length of stay. Decisions not to resuscitate are often made in the absence of a formal do-not-resuscitate order. These data have implications for future quality improvement initiatives, especially around palliative care, end-of-life decision making, and organ donation.
2014-09

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Type

Journal Article

Citation List Month

Backlog

Pages

2101-2108

Issue

9

Volume

42

Citation

Burns JP; Sellers DE; Meyer EC; Lewis-Newby M; Truog RD, “Epidemiology of Death in the PICU at Five U.S. Teaching Hospitals*,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed July 23, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/14985.

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