Six year mortality profile of a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit: associaton between out-of-hours and mortality

Arch Argent Pediatr. 2019 Apr 1;117(2):120-125. doi: 10.5546/aap.2019.eng.120.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Introduction: Recent improvements in pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) were achieved through trained personnel and better technology, leading to an increase in patient care, survival rates and good prognosis. Nevertheless the quality of care varies according to the availability of human and technical resources.

Objective: The aim was to determine the correlation of mortality rates with daytime shifts compared to other shift periods (off-hours).

Methods: Work hours were defined as week days between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., with in-house attendance of senior staff, and off-hours as week days between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., weekends and public holidays, with one resident covering the PICU and senior staff directly available only on-call. Mortality causes in children hospitalized in the intensive care unit were classified.

Results: During this period, a total of 2,187 patients were hospitalized in the PICU. A total of 394 patients died; 151 were girls (38.3 %) and 243 boys (61.7 %). Evaluating time of mortality showed that death occurred mostly at out-off hours: 244 (61.9 %) vs. 150 (38.1 %) during the daytime shift, which was statistically significant (p < 0.05). In addition, age, gender and the length of stay in the PICU were not significant (p > 0.05) when daytime was compared to out-off hours. The conditions which accompanied death were evaluated, the relationship between working hours and death was also significant (p < 0.05). More conditions related to mortality were encountered at off-hours.

Conclusion: Off-hours without 24 hour attendance of senior staff, was associated with higher mortality.

Introducción. El personal capacitado y los avances tecnológicos mejoraron las unidades de cuidados intensivos pediátricos (UCIP); por ende, mejoraron la atención, la supervivencia y el pronóstico. Pero la calidad de la atención varía según la disponibilidad de recursos humanos y técnicos. Objetivo. Determinar la correlación de las tasas de mortalidad dentro y fuera del horario diurno en días de semana. Métodos. Se definió horario de días de semana de 8:00 a. m. a 5:00 p. m., el período fuera del horario fueron de 5:00 p. m. a 8:00 a. m., fines de semana y feriados, con un residente en la UCIP y un médico de planta de guardia pasiva. Se clasificaron las causas de mortalidad en la UCIP. Resultados. Se hospitalizaron 2187 pacientes en la UCIP. Fallecieron 394; 151 niñas (38,3 %) y 243 varones (61,7 %). Según el horario de muerte, la mayoría ocurrió fuera del horario diurno 244 (61,9 %) versus a 150 (38,1 %) durante el turno diurno, una diferencia estadísticamente significativa (p < 0,05). La edad, el sexo y la duración de la hospitalización en la UCIP no fueron significativos (p > 0,05) al comparar el período dentro y fuera del horario diurno. Se evaluaron las afecciones que acompañaron la muerte. La relación entre el horario de médicos de planta y la muerte fue significativa (p < 0,05). Hubo más afecciones asociadas a mortalidad fuera del horario diurno. Conclusión. El período fuera del horario diurno sin médicos de planta estuvo asociado con mayor mortalidad.

Keywords: After-hours care; Child; Critical ill; Intensive care unit; Mortality; Pediatric.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • After-Hours Care / standards
  • After-Hours Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric / standards
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult