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Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome: A Challenge for the Pediatric Critical Care Community

Tamburro, Robert F. MD, MSc; Jenkins, Tammara L. MSN, RN, PCNS-BC

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine: March 2017 - Volume 18 - Issue 3_suppl - p S1–S3
doi: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000001044

The multiple organ dysfunction syndrome is highly prevalent among critically ill children both at the time of their admission and throughout their PICU stay. It is associated with a wide variety of clinical conditions and diagnoses. In addition to its prevalence, it is closely associated with mortality, and the risk of death seems to increase as the number of failing organs increases. Thus, preventing the progression or development of organ failure holds promise as a method to improve outcomes for a wide range of critically ill children. However, despite being first described 4 decades ago, much remains to be learned about this syndrome including its triggering events, pathophysiology, and genetic predispositions. In addition, a better understanding of the influence of age and development on its occurrence and severity is needed as neonates and infants seem to be differentially afflicted. In an attempt to begin to address these issues, the Pediatric Trauma and Critical Illness Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development convened experts in the field at a 2-day workshop to discuss this syndrome, identify key knowledge gaps, and consider potential opportunities for future research.

Both authors: Pediatric Trauma and Critical Illness Branch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MD.

This information or content and conclusions are those of the authors and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or the U.S. government.

Dr. Tamburro’s former institution received funding from U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Orphan Product Development Grant Program and from Ony, LLC (provided the surfactant free of charge for the above study of surfactant in acute lung injury among pediatric hematopoietic stem cell and leukemia patients). He received funding from Springer Publishing (royalties on Pediatric Critical Care Study Guide: Text and Review), and disclosed government work. Dr. Jenkins disclosed government work.

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©2017The Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies