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To study the aetiology and outcome of previously well children admitted to a paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) over a 5.5-year period (January 2004–June 2009) with coma (Glasgow Coma Score <12) unexplained by history and physical examination.
The study population included all children over the age of 1 month who were admitted to the intensive care during the study period. Data were collected by retrospective case note review. Patients with a history of trauma and in whom the aetiology was obvious on presentation (eg, meningococcal sepsis, diabetic ketoacidosis, primary hypoxic event) were excluded, as were those in whom seizures were the presenting symptom. Clinical course and final diagnosis were recorded and the neurological outcome was noted on discharge from the PICU …