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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Adults with childhood-onset chronic conditions admitted to US pediatric and adult intensive care units

  • Author(s): Edwards, JD
  • Vasilevskis, EE
  • Yoo, EJ
  • Houtrow, AJ
  • Boscardin, WJ
  • Dudley, RA
  • Okumura, MJ
  • et al.

© 2014 Elsevier Inc. Purpose: The purpose of the study is to compare demographics, intensive care unit (ICU) admission characteristics, and ICU outcomes among adults with childhood-onset chronic conditions (COCCs) admitted to US pediatric and adult ICUs. Materials and methods: Retrospective cross-sectional analyses of 6088 adults aged 19 to 40 years admitted in 2008 to 70 pediatric ICUs that participated in the Virtual Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Performance Systems and 50 adult ICUs that participated in Project IMPACT. Results: Childhood-onset chronic conditions were present in 53% of young adults admitted to pediatric units, compared with 9% of those in adult units. The most common COCC in both groups were congenital cardiac abnormalities, cerebral palsy, and chromosomal abnormalities. Adults with COCC admitted to pediatric units were significantly more likely to be younger, have lower functional status, and be nontrauma patients than those in adult units. The median ICU length of stay was 2 days, and the intensive care unit mortality rate was 5% for all COCC patients with no statistical difference between pediatric or adult units. Conclusions: There are marked differences in characteristics between young adults with COCC admitted to pediatric ICUs and adult ICUs. Barriers to accommodating these young adults may be reasons why many such adults have not transitioned from pediatric to adult critical care.

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