Five-Year Survival and Causes of Death in Children After Intensive Care—A National Registry Study*

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Abstract

Objectives:

The aim of the study was to compare long-term mortality and causes of death in children post admission to an ICU with a control population of same age.

Design:

Longitudinal follow-up study.

Setting:

Registry study of a national ICU register and hospital registries.

Patients:

Children admitted to an ICU in the years 2009 and 2010.

Interventions:

None.

Measurements and Main Results:

The mortality and causes of death following ICU discharge were analyzed retrospectively. The median follow-up period was 4.9 years (25–75th percentiles, 4.4–5.5 yr). The causes of death in survivors 30 days after ICU discharge were compared with a cohort of 1 million children of the general population of same age. In total, 2,792 children were admitted to an ICU during the study period. Of those, 53 (1.9%) died in the ICU and 2,739 were discharged. Thirteen children died within 30 days of discharge, and 68 died between 30 days and the end of follow-up (December 31, 2014). In the control population (n = 1,020,407 children), there were 1,037 deaths (0.10%) from 2009 to 2014. The standardized mortality rate for the children admitted to the ICU during the study period was 53.4 (95% CI, 44.7–63.2). The standardized mortality rate for those children alive 1 year after discharge was 16.7 (12.1–22.6). One-year cumulative mortality was 3.3%. The most common causes of death in subjects alive 30 days post ICU were cancer (35.3%), neurologic (17.6%), and metabolic diseases (11.7%), whereas trauma was the most common cause in the control group (45.3%).

Conclusions:

There was an increased risk of death in a cohort of ICU-admitted children even 3 years after discharge. In those who survived 30 days after discharge, medical causes of death were dominant, whereas deaths due to trauma were most common in the control group.

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