Objective: To describe the clinical profiles and risk factors for critical illness in hospitalized children and adolescents with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Study design: Children 1 month to 21 years of age with COVID-19 from a single tertiary care children's hospital between March 15 and April 13, 2020 were included. Demographic and clinical data were collected.
Results: In total, 67 children tested positive for COVID-19; 21 (31.3%) were managed as outpatients. Of 46 admitted patients, 33 (72%) were admitted to the general pediatric medical unit and 13 (28%) to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Obesity and asthma were highly prevalent but not significantly associated with PICU admission (P = .99). Admission to the PICU was significantly associated with higher C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, and pro-B type natriuretic peptide levels and platelet counts (P < .05 for all). Patients in the PICU were more likely to require high-flow nasal cannula (P = .0001) and were more likely to have received Remdesivir through compassionate release (P < .05). Severe sepsis and septic shock syndromes were observed in 7 (53.8%) patients in the PICU. Acute respiratory distress syndrome was observed in 10 (77%) PICU patients, 6 of whom (46.2%) required invasive mechanical ventilation for a median of 9 days. Of the 13 patients in the PICU, 8 (61.5%) were discharged home, and 4 (30.7%) patients remain hospitalized on ventilatory support at day 14. One patient died after withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy because of metastatic cancer.
Conclusions: We describe a higher than previously recognized rate of severe disease requiring PICU admission in pediatric patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS CoV-2; children; critical care.
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