Background and aims Paediatric intensive care units (PICU) are expected to admit every paediatric patient (age < 18 years) with organ failure. Nevertheless, some of these patients are hospitalised in an adult ICUs (AICU). The purpose of this study was to evaluate and compare the paediatric patients admitted to AICUs in Normandy with those admitted to PICU.
Methods A retrospective study was conducted from January 1st 2008 to December 31st 2010. Every paediatric patient admitted to an ACIU in Normandy was included (AICU group). The AICU group was compared to the paediatric patients admitted to the PICU of the regional university hospital of Caen between January and December 2010 (PICU group). Planned admissions from a treating PICU physician and transfers from neonatology were excluded.
Results 118 AICU stays were compare to 346 PICU stays. Mean age was higher in the AICU group (16,2 ± 1,8 vs 6,5 ± 6,4, p < 0,001). The AICU group were subject to more invasive monitoring (4,2% vs 0,3%, p = 0,005), intubation (34,8% vs 25,1%, p = 0,044) and vasoactive agents (12,7% vs 6,7%, p = 0,035). When controlled for age (13–18 years) no statistical difference was observed. Discharge planning was better in the PICU group (p < 0,001).
Conclusion Given that most paediatric AICU patients were teenagers, the medical care was comparable in between ACIU and PICU. Follow-up care, however, was better planned for PICU patients.