Background and aims Long-stay patients in paediatric intensive care units (PICU) are associated with disproportionately high healthcare resource utilisation and unfavourable outcomes. Increase in long-stay admissions and bed-occupancy have been reported elsewhere but not in the UK.
Methods We performed a retrospective analysis of PICU admissions over the last 19 years. Long-stay admissions [length of stay ≥ 28 days] were analysed over 4 different study-periods [1996–2000, 2001–2005, 2006–2010 and 2011–2014]. Chi-square test for trends used for significance tests for trends in proportions.
Results 22,059 admission episodes accounted for 108,522 bed-days. 521 long-stay episodes accounted for 30,052 bed-days. Proportion of long-stay admissions and bed-days increased from 1.2% and 19% respectively in 1996–2000, to 3.6% and 36% in 2011–2014 [p < 0.001, Table 1]. Long-stay admissions were associated with significantly higher mortality rate (20–31%) throughout the study period [p < 0.001, Table 1].
Conclusions We found an increasing trend in proportion of long stay patients and bed occupancy. If nationwide figures confirm this trend, PICU capacity planning for the future should take this into account.
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