Despite high prevalence of asthma in children in the UK, there were no prior report on asthma admissions in paediatric intensive care units (PICU). We investigated the epidemiology and healthcare resource utilisation in children with asthma presenting to PICUs in England. PICANet, a UK national PICU database, was queried for asthma as the primary reason for admission, of children resident in England from April 2006 until March 2013. There were 2195 admissions to PICU for a median stay of 1.4 days. 59% were males and 51% aged 0-4 years. The fourth and fifth most deprived quintiles represented 61% (1329) admissions and 73% (11) of the 15 deaths. Deaths were most frequent in 10-14 years age (n = 11, 73%), with no deaths in less than 5 years age. 38% of admissions (828/2193) received invasive ventilation, which was more frequent with increasing deprivation (13% (108/828) in least deprived to 31% (260/828) in most deprived) and with decreasing age (0-4-year-olds: 49%, 409/828). This first multi-centre PICU study in England found that children from more deprived neighbourhoods represented the majority of asthma admissions, invasive ventilation and deaths in PICU. Children experiencing socioeconomic deprivation could benefit from enhanced asthma support in the community.
© 2022. The Author(s).