To describe the infrastructure and resources for pediatric emergency and critical care delivery in resource-limited settings worldwide.
Cross-sectional survey with survey items developed through literature review and revised following piloting.
The electronic survey was disseminated internationally in November 2019 via e-mail directories of pediatric intensive care societies and networks and using social media.
Healthcare providers who self-identified as working in resource-limited settings.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:
Results were summarized using descriptive statistics and resource availability was compared across World Bank country income groups. We received 328 responses (238 hospitals, 60 countries), predominantly in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa (n = 161, 67.4%). Hospitals were in low-income (28, 11.7%), middle-income (166, 69.5%), and high-income (44, 18.4%) countries. Across 174 PICU and adult ICU admitting children, there were statistically significant differences in the proportion of hospitals reporting consistent resource availability (“often” or “always”) between country income groups (p < 0·05). Resources with limited availability in lower income countries included advanced ventilatory support, invasive and noninvasive monitoring, central venous access, renal replacement therapy, advanced imaging, microbiology, biochemistry, blood products, antibiotics, parenteral nutrition, and analgesic/sedative drugs. Seventy-seven ICUs (52.7%) were staffed 24/7 by a pediatric intensivist or anesthetist. The nurse-to-patient ratio was less than 1:2 in 71 ICUs (49.7%).
Contemporary data demonstrate significant disparity in the availability of essential and advanced human and material resources for the care of critically ill children in resource-limited settings. Minimum standards for essential pediatric emergency and critical care in resource-limited settings are needed.