Objective: To summarize the epidemiology and outcomes of children with multiple organ dysfunction syndrome as part of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development multiple organ dysfunction syndrome workshop (March 26-27, 2015).
Data sources: Literature review, research data, and expert opinion.
Study selection: Not applicable.
Data extraction: Moderated by an experienced expert from the field, issues relevant to the epidemiology and outcomes of children with multiple organ dysfunction syndrome were presented, discussed, and debated with a focus on identifying knowledge gaps and research priorities.
Data synthesis: Summary of presentations and discussion supported and supplemented by the relevant literature.
Conclusions: A full understanding the epidemiology and outcome of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome in children is limited by inconsistent definitions and populations studied. Nonetheless, pediatric multiple organ dysfunction syndrome is common among PICU patients, occurring in up to 57% depending on the population studied; sepsis remains its leading cause. Pediatric multiple organ dysfunction syndrome leads to considerable short-term morbidity and mortality. Long-term outcomes of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome in children have not been well studied; however, studies of adults and children with other critical illnesses suggest that the risk of long-term adverse sequelae is high. Characterization of the long-term outcomes of pediatric multiple organ dysfunction syndrome is crucial to identify opportunities for improved treatment and recovery strategies that will improve the quality of life of critically ill children and their families. The workshop identified important knowledge gaps and research priorities intended to promote the development of standard definitions and the identification of modifiable factors related to its occurrence and outcome.