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Crit Care Med. 1993 Apr;21(4):607-14.

Pediatric intensive care units: results of a national survey.

Author information

1
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Children's Hospital National Medical Center, Washington, DC 20010.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the structure and organization of pediatric intensive care units (ICUs) in the United States.

SURVEY METHODS:

We directed a mail survey to pediatric ICU medical and nursing directors and hospital quality assurance officers. A total of 201 of 301 hospitals with pediatric ICUs initially responded. Telephone confirmation of the mail survey (n = 193) and telephone data collection for mail survey nonresponders (n = 42) were also undertaken.

SURVEY RESULTS:

The largest proportion (40.0%) of pediatric ICUs had four to six beds per unit, while only 6.0% had > 18 beds per unit. The admissions per year averaged 528 +/- 24, and the mortality rates averaged 5.5 +/- 0.2%. Only 79.6% of the pediatric ICUs had full-time medical directors. A pediatric intensivist was available to 73.2% of the units. Physician coverage for 24 hrs/day dedicated only to the pediatric ICU was present in 48.5% of hospitals. As ICU size increased, the estimated mortality rates increased, as did the percentages with full-time directors, pediatric intensivists, and 24 hrs/day dedicated coverage. Medical school affiliation existed for 79.6% of pediatric ICU hospitals, and 81.1% of these hospitals were the primary teaching program sites for pediatrics. Other ICUs caring for children were present in 30.2% of the hospitals.

SURVEY APPLICATION:

The mail survey respondents were stratified using four factors: size, teaching status, intensivist status, and coordination of care status. A total of 16 respondents were randomly selected for an ongoing outcomes study of the importance of these factors.

CONCLUSIONS:

Substantial diversity exists in pediatric ICU structure and organization. Determining factors associated with quality of care is important for improving outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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