Failure of aggressive therapy to alter outcome in pediatric near-drowning

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Objectives:To identify predictors of outcome in pediatric near-drowning victims, and to measure the effectiveness of therapy in pediatric near-drowning victims by assessing clinical outcome as a function of injury severity at presentation and therapeutic interventions during hospitalization.Design:Retrospective chart review at a tertiary care university associated Children's Hospital from January 1976 to July 1992Measurements and Main Results:Initial intensive care unit (ICU) assessment included a Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) and a Pediatric Risk of Mortality (PRISM) Score. Outcome was assessed using a standard scoring system classifying functional abilities at hospital discharge as no functional disability, independent, partially independent, or total dependence on caregivers for function. Forty (49%) of 81 died. Of the survivors, 26 (63%) had no functional disability or were partially dependent at hospital dischargeOf the 47 (64%) patients with a GCS ≤ 4 on presentation to the ICU, 37 (79%) died and 10 (21%) were dependent in all areas of function at discharge. Of the 40 (60%) patients who had a PRISM score < 20, 98% either died or were completely dependent at discharge. Of the 49 patients who were asystolic upon arrival to the emergency department (ED), 76% died, and the rest were completely dependent. Logistic regression showed that therapy had no independent effect on outcome when disease severity was accounted forConclusions:Severity of illness measured by GCS and PRISM score in the ICU can be useful in predicting outcome. For patients cared for in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, those with asystole on arrival at the ED had uniformly poor outcome. Currently available therapies do not alter outcome

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