The epidemiology of clinically relevant bleeding in critically ill adolescents, particularly those who are at high risk of venous thromboembolism, is unclear. In preparation for a randomized clinical trial of pharmacologic prophylaxis against venous thromboembolism, we characterized the epidemiology of clinically relevant bleeding in critically ill adolescents.
Post hoc analysis of data from a pediatric multicenter observational study of venous thromboembolism.
Adolescents 13–17 years old who received cardiac or pulmonary support for at least 48 hours were eligible. Those admitted with venous thromboembolism or receiving therapeutic anticoagulation were excluded.
Measurements and Main Results:
Adolescents (n = 88) were followed daily for the development of any bleeding event. The severity of the event was categorized based on the definitions by the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis. The frequency of clinically relevant bleeding was 29.5% (95% CI, 20.3–40.2%) or 3.7 events (95% CI, 2.5–5.4 events) per 100 patient-days. Adolescents with venous thromboembolism were more likely to develop clinically relevant bleeding (hazard ratio, 2.06; 95% CI, 1.08–3.94). Age was negatively associated with clinically relevant bleeding (hazard ratio for every 1-year increase in age: 0.68; 95% CI, 0.58–0.79). In contrast, predicted risk of mortality (hazard ratio for every 0.10 increase in risk: 1.35; 95% CI, 1.05–1.74) and admission for trauma or surgery (hazard ratio: 2.04; 95% CI, 1.21–3.44) were positively associated with clinically relevant bleeding. The association of clinically relevant bleeding with medications, interventions, or laboratory tests, including mechanical ventilation and pharmacologic prophylaxis with anticoagulation, did not reach statistical significance. Adolescents with clinically relevant bleeding stayed in the hospital longer than those without clinically relevant bleeding.
Clinically relevant bleeding is common in critically ill adolescents who are at high risk of venous thromboembolism. Admission for trauma or surgery can be used to stratify the risk of clinically relevant bleeding in these adolescents.