Mortality, length of stay, bloodstream and respiratory viral infections in a pediatric intensive care unit

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We investigated whether diagnostic categories and presence of infections were associated with increased mortality or length of stay (LOS) in patients admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).


A retrospective study of all PICU admissions between October 2002 and April 2016 was performed. Oncologic vs nononcologic, trauma/injuries vs nontraumatic, infectious (gram-positive, gram-negative, fungal bloodstream infections, common respiratory viruses) vs noninfectious diagnoses were evaluated for survival and LOS.


Pediatric intensive care unit admissions (n = 2211) were associated with a mortality of 5.3%. Backward binary logistic regression showed that nonsurvival was associated with leukemia (odds ratio [OR], 4.81; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.2-10.10; P < .0005), lymphoma (OR, 21.34; 95% CI, 3.89-117.16; P < .0005), carditis/myocarditis (OR, 7.91; 95% CI, 1.98-31.54; P = .003), encephalitis (OR, 6.93; 95% CI, 3.27-14.67; P < .0005), bloodstream infections with gram-positive organisms (OR, 5.32; 95% CI, 2.67-10.60; P < .0005), gram-negative organisms (OR, 8.23; 95% CI, 4.10-16.53; P < .0005), fungi (OR, 3.93; 95% CI, 1.07-14.42; P = .039), and pneumococcal disease (OR, 3.26; 95% CI, 1.21-8.75; P = .019). Stepwise linear regression revealed that LOS of survivors was associated with bloodstream gram-positive infection (B = 98.2; 95% CI, 75.7-120.7; P < .0005).


Patients with diagnoses of leukemia, lymphoma, cardiomyopathy/myocarditits, encephalitis, and comorbidity of bloodstream infections and pneumococcal disease were significantly at risk of PICU mortality. Length of stay of survivors was associated with bloodstream gram-positive infection. The highest odds for death were among patients with leukemia/lymphoma and bloodstream coinfection. As early diagnosis of these childhood malignancies is desirable but not always possible, adequate and early antimicrobial coverage for gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria might be the only feasible option to reduce PICU mortality in these patients. In Hong Kong, a subtropical Asian city, none of the common respiratory viruses were associated with increased mortality or LOS in PICU.

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