Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network Annual Report 2021

Reports | Published: 13 Jan 2022

The Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network (PICANet) has published its latest annual report, which describes paediatric critical care in the United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland (ROI) between January 2018 and December 2020.

In summary, the number of admissions in 2020 showed a reduction due to the COVID-19 pandemic, from just over 20,000 per year from 2018–19 to 16,400 in 2020. This reduction in admissions was also reflected in the number of bed days delivered across the UK and ROI, which fell by 20% in 2020 compared to the two previous years. Other key findings include:

  • Despite the pandemic, the likelihood of dying whilst being treated within PICUs remained very low with 96.4% of admissions discharged alive in 2020.
  • Overall rates of emergency readmission within 48 hours of discharge remained stable at around 1.7% over the period 2018–2020. However, in 2020 it varied by country, from 0.8% in Wales to 2.1% in Scotland, and
  • The proportion of children admitted to PICU with a primary diagnosis of diabetic ketoacidosis more than doubled in 2020 to 1.3% compared with the average proportion of 0.6% for 2010 to 2019. This increase is in keeping with emerging evidence of an association of COVID-19 and diabetes.

The report looked at the impact of COVID-19 on PICUs, finding that 55% redeployed their (predominantly nursing and medical) staff; the majority of which were used to aid Adult Intensive Care Units. As such, 29% of PICUs were required to relocate children to another PICU or designated area.

It goes on to make a number of recommendations including a call to review staffing levels following the pandemic, to ensure that adequate levels of care are maintained within paediatric intensive bodies.

Read the full report: You can read the report by clicking on the link below.

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Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network Annual Report 2021