The international scope of critical neurologic insults in children is unknown. Our objective was to assess the prevalence and outcomes of children admitted to PICUs with acute neurologic insults.Design:
Multicenter (n = 107 PICUs) and multinational (23 countries, 79% in North America and Europe).Patients:
Children 7 days to 17 years old admitted to the ICU with new traumatic brain injury, stroke, cardiac arrest, CNS infection or inflammation, status epilepticus, spinal cord injury, hydrocephalus, or brain mass.Interventions:
None.Measurements and Main Results:
We evaluated the prevalence and outcomes of children with predetermined acute neurologic insults. Child and center characteristics were recorded. Unfavorable outcome was defined as change in pre-post insult Pediatric Cerebral Performance Category score greater than or equal to 2 or death at hospital discharge or 3 months, whichever came first. Screening data yielded overall prevalence of 16.2%. Of 924 children with acute neurologic insults, cardiac arrest (23%) and traumatic brain injury (19%) were the most common. All-cause mortality at hospital discharge was 12%. Cardiac arrest subjects had highest mortality (24%), and traumatic brain injury subjects had the most unfavorable outcomes (49%). The most common neurologic insult was infection/inflammation in South America, Asia, and the single African site but cardiac arrest in the remaining regions.Conclusions:
Neurologic insults are a significant pediatric international health issue. They are frequent and contribute substantial morbidity and mortality. These data suggest a need for an increased focus on acute critical neurologic diseases in infants and children including additional research, enhanced availability of clinical resources, and the development of new therapies.