Neurodevelopmental Disorders in the PICU Population

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Abstract

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), affecting 11% of children and adolescents, increases risk for injury and may predispose children to illness. However, the prevalence of ADHD and other developmental disorders in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) has not been previously studied. We performed a single-center, prospective cohort study of children aged 6 to 12 years who were hospitalized in the PICU from May through August 2016. Parents described their child’s educational and neurodevelopmental history, and completed ADHD and emotional/behavioral disorder screening on enrollment and 1 month after discharge. Twenty-four children were enrolled. Ten patients (42%) had a prior neurodevelopmental diagnosis, and 7 (29%) met study criteria for ADHD. Children hospitalized for critical illness have a high prevalence of neurodevelopmental disabilities and are more susceptible to the impact of critical illness on development and behavior. More research is needed to better understand how to support this vulnerable population after critical illness.

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