Background and Aims Informed consent underpins medical practice. However, the immediacy of PICU can make obtaining informed consent challenging. Nevertheless, consent could be obtained for less urgent procedures and investigations.
We aimed to survey the current practice of obtaining consent for commonly performed procedures and investigations.
Method We conducted a survey of UK PICUs and Paediatric Transport Services to determine if consent is obtained and the form it takes.
Results We obtained responses from 16 PICUs or transport services. No unit has a written consent policy.
Conclusion Current practice is variable both across and within units. Predictably, consent is most commonly obtained for less urgent procedures; consent may be impossible for time critical procedures. There are aspects of consent that the PIC community may need to review - for example the dichotomy of obtaining consent for the same procedure (eg bronchoscopy) being undertaken in theatre but not on PICU.