Hospitalization in a PICU is a life-altering experience for children and their families. Yet, little is known about the well-being of these children after their discharge. We are describing the outcome of PICU survivors at a PICU clinic 2 months after discharge.
Prospective cohort study.
PICU and PICU clinic of CHU Sainte-Justine.
Prospective cohort study of children admitted for greater than or equal to 4 days, greater than or equal to 2 days of invasive ventilation, odds ratio greater than or equal to 4 days of noninvasive ventilation at Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine.
Prospective cohort study of children admitted for greater than or equal to 4 days, greater than or equal to 2 days of invasive ventilation, or greater than or equal to 4 days of noninvasive ventilation at Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine PICU.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:
Patients were evaluated by a pediatric intensivist 2 months after discharge at the follow-up clinic. They were asked to fill out validated questionnaires. One hundred thirty-two patients were followed from October 2018 to September 2020. The PICU diagnoses were respiratory illness (40.9%), head trauma, and septic shock (7.6%). Average length of PICU stay was 28.5 ± 84.2 days (median 7 d). Sixty-one percent were intubated. Symptoms reported by families were as follows: fatigue (9.9%), sleep disturbances (20.5%), feeding difficulties (12.1%), and voice change and/or stridor (9.8%). Twenty-one percent of school-aged children reported school delays. Twenty-seven children demonstrated communication delays, 45% gross motor function delays, 41% fine motor delays, 37% delays in problem-solving, and 49% delays in personal-social functioning. Quality of Life scores were 78.1 ± 20.5 and 80.0 ± 17.5 for physical and psychosocial aspects, respectively. Fourteen percent of parents reported financial difficulties, 42% reported symptoms of anxiety, 29% symptoms of depression.
PICU survivors and their families experience significant physical and psychosocial morbidities after their critical illness. PICU follow-up is crucial to determine the outcome of these children and develop interventions.