Profile of hospitalizations in Pediatric Intensive Care Units of the Brazilian Unified Health System in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil

Juliana Guimarães de Mendonça Maria José Bezerra Guimarães Vilma Guimarães de Mendonça José Luiz Portugal Carolina Guimarães de Mendonça About the authors

Abstract

In Brazil, the distribution of pediatric intensive care units (PICUs), causes of admission, costs incurred and how care is provided are still poorly understood. The objective was to describe the profile of hospitalizations in the PICUs of the Brazilian Unified Health System in the state of Pernambuco, in 2010. A cross-sectional study was performed, with 1,915 hospitalizations in the six PICUs, collected in the Hospital Information System. The variables were compared by age group. There was a predominance of male hospitalizations (58.1%), an age range of between one and four years old (32.5%), the use of philanthropic units (64.1%) and type III PICUs (59.2%) and admissions due to neoplasms (28.9%). The mean hospital stay was 14.4 days, and the mean cost was BRL 6,674.80. The mean distance between the municipality of residence and the PICU ranged from 8.7 to 486.5 km. There were 207 deaths (10.8/100 admissions), of which 30% were due to infectious and parasitic diseases. Differences were identified between the age groups (p < 0.05), except regarding gender. In conclusion, admissions to PICUs in Pernambuco show differences in geographical access and sociodemographic characteristics, admissions, and causes of hospitalization and death among age groups.

Pediatric intensive care units; Hospital information systems; Morbidity; Hospital costs; Access to health services

Introduction

Pediatric intensive care emerged approximately 50 years ago11. Souza DC, Troster EJ, Carvalho WB, Shin SH, Cordeiro AMG. Disponibilidade de unidades de terapia intensiva pediátrica e neonatal no município de São Paulo. J Pediatr (Rio J) 2004; 80(6):453-460.. However, it was only with the technical, therapeutic, and scientific advances from the 1980s that the expansion of pediatric intensive care occurred, which led to the implementation of specific units for the treatment of critically ill children in various parts of the world22. Cutulo RA, Furtado Filho JRF, Botelho L. Perfil dos pacientes internados na unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica do Hospital Infantil Joana de Gusmão no ano de 1993. ACM 1994; 23(2):95-100., including Brazil11. Souza DC, Troster EJ, Carvalho WB, Shin SH, Cordeiro AMG. Disponibilidade de unidades de terapia intensiva pediátrica e neonatal no município de São Paulo. J Pediatr (Rio J) 2004; 80(6):453-460.. Pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) with continuous specialized professional attention, specific materials and technologies necessary for diagnosis, monitoring and treatment33. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde (MS). Resolução GM/MS nº 7, 24 de fevereiro de 2010. Dispõe sobre os requisitos mínimos para funcionamento de Unidades de Terapia Intensiva e dá outras providências. Diário Oficial União 2010; 25 fev. have contributed to significant changes in the treatment and prognosis of children with severe conditions44. Einloft PR, Garcia PC, Piva JP, Bruno F, Kipper DJ, Fiori RM. Perfil epidemiológico de dezesseis anos de uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica. Rev Saude Publica 2002; 36(6):728-733., saving and prolonging lives55. Molina RCM, Marcon SS, Uchimura TT, Lopes EP. Caracterização das internações em uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica, de um hospital escola da região Sul do Brasil. Cienc Cuid Saúde 2008; 7(Supl. 1):112-120.. In turn, they represent one of the main consumer sectors of the hospital budget66. Gemke RJ, Bonsel GJ, Bught AJ. Outcome assessment and quality assurance in pediatric intensive care. In: Tibboel D, van der Voort E, editors. Intensive care in childhood - a challenge to future. 2nd ed. Berlin: Springer; 1996. p. 117-132..

In Brazil, despite the increase of intensive care in recent decades, inequalities persist in the distribution of beds and in the quality of care provided77. Barbosa AP. Terapia intensiva neonatal e pediátrica no Brasil: o ideal, o real e o possível. J Pediatr (Rio J) 2004; 80(6):437-438.. The distribution and structure of the PICUs, the main causes of admission, the costs incurred and the way in which intensive care is provided in the country are poorly understood11. Souza DC, Troster EJ, Carvalho WB, Shin SH, Cordeiro AMG. Disponibilidade de unidades de terapia intensiva pediátrica e neonatal no município de São Paulo. J Pediatr (Rio J) 2004; 80(6):453-460.. Moreover, among studies that have addressed the admissions characteristics in PICUs, most involve a single tertiary referral center, both in the national22. Cutulo RA, Furtado Filho JRF, Botelho L. Perfil dos pacientes internados na unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica do Hospital Infantil Joana de Gusmão no ano de 1993. ACM 1994; 23(2):95-100.,44. Einloft PR, Garcia PC, Piva JP, Bruno F, Kipper DJ, Fiori RM. Perfil epidemiológico de dezesseis anos de uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica. Rev Saude Publica 2002; 36(6):728-733.,55. Molina RCM, Marcon SS, Uchimura TT, Lopes EP. Caracterização das internações em uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica, de um hospital escola da região Sul do Brasil. Cienc Cuid Saúde 2008; 7(Supl. 1):112-120.,88. Alves MVMFF, Bissiguini PO, Nitsche MJT, Olbrich SRLR, Lis CHBL, Toso AR. Perfil dos pacientes internados em uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica de um hospital escola do interior de São Paulo. Cienc Cuid Saúde 2014; 13(2):294-301.

9. Lanetzki CS, Oliveira CAC, Bass LM, Abramovici S, Troster EJ. O perfil epidemiológico do Centro de Terapia Intensiva Pediátrico do Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein. Einstein 2012; 10(1):16-21
-1010. El Halal MGS, Barbieri E, Filho RM, Trotta EA, Carvalho PRA. Admission source and mortality in a pediatric intensive care unit. Indian J Crit Care Med 2012; 16(2):81-86. and in the international1111. Briassoulis G, Filippou O, Natsi L, Mavrikiou M, Hatzis T. Acute and chronic paediatric intensive care patients: current trends and perspectives on resource utilization. QJM 2004; 97(8):507-518.

12. Khilnani P, Sarma D, Singh R, Uttam R, Rajdev S, Makkar A, Kaur J. Demographic profile and outcome analysis of a tertiary level Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Indian J Pediatr 2004; 71(7):587-591.

13. Parra ME, Gonzzáles AFE, Oshoa WC, Velez AQ. Morbmortalidad em la unidad de cuidados intensivos pediátricos del hospital universitario San Vicente de Paúl, Medellín, Colombia, 2001-2005. Iatreia 2008; 21(1):33-40.
-1414. Embu HY, Yiltok SJ, Isamade ES, Nuhu SI, Oyeniran OO, Uba FA. Paediatric admissions and outcome in a general intensive care unit. Afr J Paediatr Surg 2011; 8(1):57-61. scientific literature.

To adequately manage the health care network for children, it is essential to characterize PICUs and the care they provide. In this sense, the Hospital Information System (SIH)1515. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde (MS). Manual técnico operacional do Sistema de Informações Hospitalares/Atualização, Versão 1. Brasília: Editora do Ministério da Saúde; 2011. enables the analysis of several aspects of pediatric intensive care practiced in the Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS) network, although the SIH is still rarely used for this purpose. This study, based on the PICUs hospitalizations from the SIH database, can contribute to the planning and management of the SUS pediatric intensive care network and, consequently, to the organization of services and the quality of care to critically ill patients. The objective of the study was to investigate the profile of hospitalizations in the PICUs of the SUS network in the state of Pernambuco, in 2010, regarding sociodemographic characteristics, geographic access to care, reason for admission, causes of hospitalization and death, and verification of any differences between the age groups of the users.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was performed on the PICU hospitalizations that occurred in Pernambuco in 2010. This year, the SUS network of Pernambuco had six PICUs, all of which were located in the city of Recife, the state capital. Two PICUs belonged to the philanthropic network and four to SUS’s own network, totaling 55 beds. These PICUs admit pediatric patients who are in a critical health state and who live in one of the 184 municipalities of Pernambuco, in the district of Fernando de Noronha, or in neighboring states.

All hospitalizations occurring in SUS care network PICUs that were listed in the SIH databases in 2010 were included in the study regardless of age or any other characteristic. In addition to the Hospital Hospitalization Authorization (AIH), admission to an SUS PICU requires a special procedure report whose data are entered into the SIH database. SIH considers the amount of AIH paid as hospitalizations; this excludes the amount due to an extension of hospitalization, which is issued to long-term patients. This amount was used as an approximation of the number of hospitalized patients because transfers and readmissions generate new AIHs1616. Datasus. [homepage on the internet]. Morbidade hospitalar do SUS por local de internação nota técnica. [cited 2011 Feb 15]. Available from: http://tabnet.datasus.gov.br/cgi/sih/nidescr.htm
http://tabnet.datasus.gov.br/cgi/sih/nid...
. The monthly databases of the SIH were collected from the page of the Department of Informatics of the SUS (Datasus; http://www2.datasus.gov.br/DATASUS/index.php?area=0901).

From the total 2010 admissions in SUS hospitals (n=543,720), hospitalizations with ICU daily rates (n=14,965) were selected, followed by those that occurred in PICUs (n=1,915). Variables were studied that related to the sociodemographic characteristics of the patients (sex, age group, place of residence), the geographic access to intensive care, the nature and type of the PICU, costs, length of stay, assistance procedures and causes of admission and death. PICUs were classified into three types (I, II and III) in increasing order of complexity according to the availability of services at the hospital and the human resources, materials and equipment in the unit, as recommended by the Ministry of Health1717. Brasil. Portaria GM/MS nº 3.432, 12 de agosto de 1998. Estabelece critérios de classificação para as unidades de tratamento intensivo – UTI. Diário Oficial União 1998; 12 ago..

All variables studied, except for the geographical distribution of hospitalizations, were described for four age groups; absolute and relative frequencies were obtained, and the hypothesis of homogeneity of proportions was verified by means of the Pearson chi-squared test with a 5% level of significance. The following results were obtained: mean monthly number of hospitalizations, mean stay (in days), amounts paid by SUS (costs in BRL) and lethality rate (number of deaths per 100 admissions).

For the geographical distribution of hospitalizations, which was assessed according to the place of residence of the patients, a total of 131 admissions were excluded due to the patient residing in a municipality of another state or in the district of Fernando de Noronha. A choropleth map of hospitalizations according to the municipality and the mesoregion of residence was created. For each mesoregion of the state (Sertão, Agreste, Mata and Metropolitan Region of Recife-MRR), the mean euclidian distance between the municipal seats of residence and hospitalization (Recife) was calculated. This distance (in km) was used to indicate the geographical access to PICU care by SUS users who resided in the state.

The causes of hospitalization and death were grouped according to the chapters on morbidity and mortality of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems - Tenth Revision (ICD-10)1818. Organização Mundial da Saúde (OMS). Classificação Estatística Internacional de Doenças e Problemas Relacionados à Saúde – Décima Revisão. São Paulo: Edusp; 1994., and those with the greatest magnitude were specified. The primary diagnosis that justified the admission was used as a cause for hospitalization, which was defined after PICU discharge according to the standardization of SIH-SUS1616. Datasus. [homepage on the internet]. Morbidade hospitalar do SUS por local de internação nota técnica. [cited 2011 Feb 15]. Available from: http://tabnet.datasus.gov.br/cgi/sih/nidescr.htm
http://tabnet.datasus.gov.br/cgi/sih/nid...
. The study was approved by the Ethics Committee on Human Research of the main institution to which the work is linked. The study was carried out exclusively with secondary data without information that could identify the individuals and respected the ethical principles contained in the Resolution of the National Health Council (CNS) No. 466 of December 12, 2012.

Results

In 2010, there were 1,915 PICU admissions in the SUS network in the state of Pernambuco, corresponding to a mean monthly hospitalization of 160 (Table 1). The 1-4-year-old age group presented the highest proportion of hospitalizations, followed by children less than one year old. A total of 58.4% of PICU hospitalizations occurred in these two groups, with respective mean monthly hospitalizations of 52 and 41. For the age groups of 5-9 years and ≥10 years, the mean monthly hospitalizations were 34 and 32, respectively. The mean length of stay in the PICU for the total hospitalizations was 14.4 days, ranging from 18.7 days for children under one year old to 11.7 days for children ≥ 10 years old. In the 1-4 and 5-9-year-old age groups, the mean stays were 14.3 and 11.9 days, respectively.

Table 1
Characteristics of the hospitalizations and deaths in PICUs by age group. Pernambuco, 2010.

The total hospitalization cost was BRL 12.8 million, which corresponded to a mean of BRL 6,674.80 per hospitalization paid by SUS (Table 1). The cost decreased with increasing age and corresponded to BRL 8,361.50, BRL 7,089.23, BRL 5,563.79 and BRL 5,022.60 for children under one year old, 1-4 years old, 5-9 years old, and ≥ 10 years old, respectively. There were 207 deaths, corresponding to a monthly mean of 17 deaths. The highest occurrence of deaths was observed in children under one year old (40.1%), and the lowest was in the 5-9-year-old children (14.0%). Regarding the mortality rate, 10.8 children died per 100 admissions. However, there were differences in relation to age group: the mortality rate in children under one year old (16.7/100 admissions) was 2.4 times higher than the lowest observed rate (7.1/100 admissions), which was found for the 5-9 year olds.

Among patients residing in Pernambuco (Figure 1), 23 municipalities (12.4%) had no hospitalized residents. In turn, 75 municipalities (40.5% of the total) contributed one to four hospitalizations, 45 municipalities (24.3%) contributed five to nine hospitalizations, and 42 municipalities (22.8%) contributed 10 or more hospitalizations. Regarding the mesoregions, 44.7% of the hospitalizations corresponded to residents from MRR municipalities, followed by residents from Agreste (24.6%), Mata (16.3%) and Sertão (14.0%). All PICUs were located in the state capital, and patients residing in the MRR had the lowest displacement, with a mean euclidian distance between the municipal seat of residence and the PICU of 8.7 km. In contrast, this distance was 486.5 km for residents of Sertão. Intermediate distance values were found for residents in Agreste and Mata, which were 152.4 km and 77.0 km, respectively.

Figure 1
Characteristics of the geographical distribution of PICU hospitalizations by municipality and mesoregion of residence. Pernambuco, 2010.

The majority of patients admitted to PICUs were male (58.1%), but there was no statistically significant difference (p = 0.967) among the studied age groups (Table 2). Hospitalizations were predominant in the philanthropic network units (64.1%) and type III PICUs (59.2%). A higher frequency of hospitalizations in SUS network PICUs and type II PICUs occurred in children less than one year old. The distribution of hospitalizations according to the nature and type of PICU presented differences between the age groups (p < 0.001). When the length of stay was categorized, it was observed that 68.7% of admissions lasted up to 14 days, with differences between the age groups (p < 0.001).

Table 2
PICU hospitalizations according to sex, characteristics of the units, length of stay and procedures performed by age group. Pernambuco, 2010.

Differences were also observed between age groups (p < 0.001) regarding the procedures performed in hospitalizations (Table 2). There was predominance of clinical procedures, except for those under one year old, in which 52.8% of the procedures were surgical. Among the 1,095 hospitalizations in which clinical procedures were performed, cancer therapy was the most frequent (40.1%). Regarding the 809 hospitalizations with surgical procedures, the highest frequency was found for surgery of the circulatory system (37.7%).

Regarding the causes of hospitalization and death (Table 3), differences between age groups were observed (p < 0.001). The leading cause of hospitalization (ICD-10 chapter) was due to neoplasms (28.9%), followed by congenital malformations (19%), infectious and parasitic diseases (13.7%), the respiratory system (13.7%) and the digestive system (9.4%). From one year of age, there was no difference between the age groups regarding the ranking occupied by the first three causes of hospitalization. In children under one year of age, congenital malformations were the most frequent cause of hospitalization, while neoplasms were the sixth most frequent cause.

Table 3
Causes of hospitalization and death in PICUs by age group. Pernambuco, 2010.

Infectious and parasitic diseases predominated as the cause of death (30%) (Table 3), followed by neoplasms (14%), congenital malformations (13.5%) and diseases of the respiratory system (12.6%). In all age groups, infectious and parasitic diseases were also the main cause of death with the exception of the 5-9 year-olds, in which infectious and parasitic diseases occupied the second place after neoplasms.

Discussion

This study identified the magnitude of hospitalizations and deaths in all SUS PICUs in Pernambuco and showed differences among the age groups regarding their characteristics. The study also revealed the spatial concentration of PICUs in hospitals located in the state capital and indicated the existence of inequality regarding geographical access to intensive care by the pediatric population residing in more distant areas.

Information about the PICU characteristics of a given region is scarce11. Souza DC, Troster EJ, Carvalho WB, Shin SH, Cordeiro AMG. Disponibilidade de unidades de terapia intensiva pediátrica e neonatal no município de São Paulo. J Pediatr (Rio J) 2004; 80(6):453-460.,1919. Barbosa AP, Cunha AJLA, Carvalho ERM, Portella AF, Andrade MPF, Barbosa MCM. Terapia intensiva neonatal e pediátrica no Rio de Janeiro: distribuição de leitos e análise de equidade. Rev Assoc Med Bras 2002; 48(4):303-311.,2020. Saporiti A. Cuidados intensivos pediátricos: trabajo colaborativo sobre características de población y grupos de riesgos/ Pediatric intensive care: collaborative study on characteristics of population and high risk groups. J Pediatr (Rio J) 1999; 75(3):C2-C10., and no studies of this nature in the states of the northeastern region of Brazil have been identified. In this regard, it is emphasized that the inclusion of all PICUs in the SUS-PE network in the study was possible due to the availability of information in the SIH/SUS regarding the characteristics of the users and the care provided. The use of this system as a source of data for investigations is increasing due to its agile production and improvements of the database quality, in addition to the ease of access2121. Drumond EF, Machado CJ, Vasconcelos MR, Franca E. Utilização de dados secundários do SIM, Sinasc e SIH na produção científica brasileira de 1990 a 2006. Rev bras estud popul 2009; 26(1):7-19.. An exception to this is the primary diagnosis for admission and death, which is less reliable, especially when the cause is best especified2222. Escosteguy CG, Portela MC, Medronho RA, Vasconcellos MTL. AIH versus prontuário médico no estudo do risco de óbito hospitalar no infarto agudo do miocárdio no Município do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Cad Saude Publica 2005; 21(4):1065-1076.,2323. Travassos-Veras CM, Martins MS. A confiabilidade dos dados nos formulários de Autorização de Internação Hospitalar (AIH), Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Cad Saude Publica 1994; 10:3.. To minimize the possibility of bias, it is recommended that the main diagnosis be grouped according to the chapters of ICD-102424. Bittencourt SA, Camacho LAB, Leal MA. O Sistema de Informação Hospitalar e sua aplicação na saúde coletiva. Cad Saude Publica 2006; 22(1):19-30., which was the strategy used in the current study.

A comparison of the findings across several studies of PICU hospitalizations has limitations because different units have different characteristics, such as the age of the admitted patients, causes of admission, availability of resources in the hospital and attributes of the local population. Nevertheless, it has been found that the majority of PICU admissions are for infants22. Cutulo RA, Furtado Filho JRF, Botelho L. Perfil dos pacientes internados na unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica do Hospital Infantil Joana de Gusmão no ano de 1993. ACM 1994; 23(2):95-100.,44. Einloft PR, Garcia PC, Piva JP, Bruno F, Kipper DJ, Fiori RM. Perfil epidemiológico de dezesseis anos de uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica. Rev Saude Publica 2002; 36(6):728-733.

5. Molina RCM, Marcon SS, Uchimura TT, Lopes EP. Caracterização das internações em uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica, de um hospital escola da região Sul do Brasil. Cienc Cuid Saúde 2008; 7(Supl. 1):112-120.
-66. Gemke RJ, Bonsel GJ, Bught AJ. Outcome assessment and quality assurance in pediatric intensive care. In: Tibboel D, van der Voort E, editors. Intensive care in childhood - a challenge to future. 2nd ed. Berlin: Springer; 1996. p. 117-132.,88. Alves MVMFF, Bissiguini PO, Nitsche MJT, Olbrich SRLR, Lis CHBL, Toso AR. Perfil dos pacientes internados em uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica de um hospital escola do interior de São Paulo. Cienc Cuid Saúde 2014; 13(2):294-301.,1111. Briassoulis G, Filippou O, Natsi L, Mavrikiou M, Hatzis T. Acute and chronic paediatric intensive care patients: current trends and perspectives on resource utilization. QJM 2004; 97(8):507-518.,1313. Parra ME, Gonzzáles AFE, Oshoa WC, Velez AQ. Morbmortalidad em la unidad de cuidados intensivos pediátricos del hospital universitario San Vicente de Paúl, Medellín, Colombia, 2001-2005. Iatreia 2008; 21(1):33-40.,2525. Bertolini G, Ripamonti D, Cattaneo A, Apolone G. Pediatric risk of mortality: an assessment of its performance in a sample of 26 Italian intensive care units. Crit Care Med 1998; 26(8):1427-1432.

26. Goodman DM, Wilde RA, Green TP. Oncology patients in the pediatric intensive care unit: room for optimism? Crit Care Med 2000; 28(11):3768-3769.
-2727. Singhal D, Kumar N, Puliyel JM, Singh SK, Srinivas V. Prediction of mortality by application of PRISM score in intensive care unit. Indian Pediatr 2001; 7(38):714-719. and are due to characteristics inherent to this age group, in which the immune system is still is not fully developed, making them more susceptible to diseases and complications requiring intensive care44. Einloft PR, Garcia PC, Piva JP, Bruno F, Kipper DJ, Fiori RM. Perfil epidemiológico de dezesseis anos de uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica. Rev Saude Publica 2002; 36(6):728-733.,55. Molina RCM, Marcon SS, Uchimura TT, Lopes EP. Caracterização das internações em uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica, de um hospital escola da região Sul do Brasil. Cienc Cuid Saúde 2008; 7(Supl. 1):112-120..

In the current study, hospitalizations of children between one and four years of age predominated, which corroborated observations from a unit in Uruguay2828. Laphitz C, Assandri E, Ferreira Maia A, Ferrari AM. Derivación de pacientes pediátricos a unidades de cuidados intensivos: estudio de cuatro años en una Institución de Asistencia Médica Colectiva. Rev Med Uruguay 2005; 21(3):215-221. and from a unit in the capital of São Paulo state99. Lanetzki CS, Oliveira CAC, Bass LM, Abramovici S, Troster EJ. O perfil epidemiológico do Centro de Terapia Intensiva Pediátrico do Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein. Einstein 2012; 10(1):16-21 where admissions of children in this age group were higher than those observed in children under one year. Notably, approximately 60% of hospitalizations occurred in children under five years of age, with a subsequent decrease with the increase of age. This differs from the profile of a PICU in Ethiopia, where the predominant age range was 10 to 14 years of age2929. Abebe T, Girmay M, Michael G, Tesfaye M. The epidemiological profile of pediatric patients admitted to the general intensive care unit in an ethiopian university hospital. Int J Gen Med 2015; 8:63-67..

The mean length of stay (14.4 days) was higher than that observed in other studies in Brazil (5.5 days in Botucatu-São Paulo88. Alves MVMFF, Bissiguini PO, Nitsche MJT, Olbrich SRLR, Lis CHBL, Toso AR. Perfil dos pacientes internados em uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica de um hospital escola do interior de São Paulo. Cienc Cuid Saúde 2014; 13(2):294-301.; 7.3 days in Maringá-Paraná55. Molina RCM, Marcon SS, Uchimura TT, Lopes EP. Caracterização das internações em uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica, de um hospital escola da região Sul do Brasil. Cienc Cuid Saúde 2008; 7(Supl. 1):112-120.; 6.6 to 8.9 days in Porto Alegre-Rio Grande do Sul44. Einloft PR, Garcia PC, Piva JP, Bruno F, Kipper DJ, Fiori RM. Perfil epidemiológico de dezesseis anos de uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica. Rev Saude Publica 2002; 36(6):728-733. and 9.7 days in São Paulo city99. Lanetzki CS, Oliveira CAC, Bass LM, Abramovici S, Troster EJ. O perfil epidemiológico do Centro de Terapia Intensiva Pediátrico do Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein. Einstein 2012; 10(1):16-21) and Colombia (5.0 days in Medellín1313. Parra ME, Gonzzáles AFE, Oshoa WC, Velez AQ. Morbmortalidad em la unidad de cuidados intensivos pediátricos del hospital universitario San Vicente de Paúl, Medellín, Colombia, 2001-2005. Iatreia 2008; 21(1):33-40.). However, these studies took into account only one unit, whose characteristics of demand and service may have contributed to the shorter observed hospitalization times. Children under one year of age had longer stays and higher hospitalization costs. This finding corroborates that described by Chalom et al.3030. Chalom R, Raphaely RC, Costarino Junior AT. Hospital cost of pediatric intensive care. Crit Care Med 1999; 27(10):2079-2085., who found that hospital stay time is the variable with the highest correlation to the hospitalization costs, which are associated with a greater disease severity and the appearance of complications.

The mortality rate described in PICUs22. Cutulo RA, Furtado Filho JRF, Botelho L. Perfil dos pacientes internados na unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica do Hospital Infantil Joana de Gusmão no ano de 1993. ACM 1994; 23(2):95-100.,44. Einloft PR, Garcia PC, Piva JP, Bruno F, Kipper DJ, Fiori RM. Perfil epidemiológico de dezesseis anos de uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica. Rev Saude Publica 2002; 36(6):728-733.,55. Molina RCM, Marcon SS, Uchimura TT, Lopes EP. Caracterização das internações em uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica, de um hospital escola da região Sul do Brasil. Cienc Cuid Saúde 2008; 7(Supl. 1):112-120.,88. Alves MVMFF, Bissiguini PO, Nitsche MJT, Olbrich SRLR, Lis CHBL, Toso AR. Perfil dos pacientes internados em uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica de um hospital escola do interior de São Paulo. Cienc Cuid Saúde 2014; 13(2):294-301.,1111. Briassoulis G, Filippou O, Natsi L, Mavrikiou M, Hatzis T. Acute and chronic paediatric intensive care patients: current trends and perspectives on resource utilization. QJM 2004; 97(8):507-518.

12. Khilnani P, Sarma D, Singh R, Uttam R, Rajdev S, Makkar A, Kaur J. Demographic profile and outcome analysis of a tertiary level Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Indian J Pediatr 2004; 71(7):587-591.

13. Parra ME, Gonzzáles AFE, Oshoa WC, Velez AQ. Morbmortalidad em la unidad de cuidados intensivos pediátricos del hospital universitario San Vicente de Paúl, Medellín, Colombia, 2001-2005. Iatreia 2008; 21(1):33-40.
-1414. Embu HY, Yiltok SJ, Isamade ES, Nuhu SI, Oyeniran OO, Uba FA. Paediatric admissions and outcome in a general intensive care unit. Afr J Paediatr Surg 2011; 8(1):57-61.,2020. Saporiti A. Cuidados intensivos pediátricos: trabajo colaborativo sobre características de población y grupos de riesgos/ Pediatric intensive care: collaborative study on characteristics of population and high risk groups. J Pediatr (Rio J) 1999; 75(3):C2-C10.,2828. Laphitz C, Assandri E, Ferreira Maia A, Ferrari AM. Derivación de pacientes pediátricos a unidades de cuidados intensivos: estudio de cuatro años en una Institución de Asistencia Médica Colectiva. Rev Med Uruguay 2005; 21(3):215-221.,3131. Flori HR, Glidden DV, Rutherford GW, Matthay AM. Pediatric acute lung injury: prospective evaluation of risk factors associated with mortality. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2005; 171(9):995-1001.ranges from 6.7%1212. Khilnani P, Sarma D, Singh R, Uttam R, Rajdev S, Makkar A, Kaur J. Demographic profile and outcome analysis of a tertiary level Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Indian J Pediatr 2004; 71(7):587-591. to 36.1%1414. Embu HY, Yiltok SJ, Isamade ES, Nuhu SI, Oyeniran OO, Uba FA. Paediatric admissions and outcome in a general intensive care unit. Afr J Paediatr Surg 2011; 8(1):57-61., which is a very wide range; the value observed in the PICUs of Pernambuco (10.8%) lies within this range. This rate was influenced by the PICU, which accounted for approximately 60% of hospitalizations in Pernambuco; in previous studies the mortality rate of this unit was found to be 9%3232. Aragão RCF, Albuquerque MFPM, Mello MJG, Ximenes RAA. Risk factors associated with death in children admitted to a paediatric intensive care unit. Journal of tropical pediatrics 2001; 47(2):86-91. and 10.2%3333. Mello MJG, Albuquerque MFPM, Lacerda HR, Barbosa MTS, Ximenes RAA. Risk factors for healthcare-associated infection in a pediatric intensive care unit. Pediatr Crit Care Med 2010; 11(2):246-252.. The greatest mortality was observed in the youngest patients44. Einloft PR, Garcia PC, Piva JP, Bruno F, Kipper DJ, Fiori RM. Perfil epidemiológico de dezesseis anos de uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica. Rev Saude Publica 2002; 36(6):728-733.,55. Molina RCM, Marcon SS, Uchimura TT, Lopes EP. Caracterização das internações em uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica, de um hospital escola da região Sul do Brasil. Cienc Cuid Saúde 2008; 7(Supl. 1):112-120.,1313. Parra ME, Gonzzáles AFE, Oshoa WC, Velez AQ. Morbmortalidad em la unidad de cuidados intensivos pediátricos del hospital universitario San Vicente de Paúl, Medellín, Colombia, 2001-2005. Iatreia 2008; 21(1):33-40., which differed from a study carried out in the PICU of Porto Alegre-Rio Grande do Sul1010. El Halal MGS, Barbieri E, Filho RM, Trotta EA, Carvalho PRA. Admission source and mortality in a pediatric intensive care unit. Indian J Crit Care Med 2012; 16(2):81-86. where the mortality rate increased with increasing age. The predominance of admissions in males44. Einloft PR, Garcia PC, Piva JP, Bruno F, Kipper DJ, Fiori RM. Perfil epidemiológico de dezesseis anos de uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica. Rev Saude Publica 2002; 36(6):728-733.,55. Molina RCM, Marcon SS, Uchimura TT, Lopes EP. Caracterização das internações em uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica, de um hospital escola da região Sul do Brasil. Cienc Cuid Saúde 2008; 7(Supl. 1):112-120.,88. Alves MVMFF, Bissiguini PO, Nitsche MJT, Olbrich SRLR, Lis CHBL, Toso AR. Perfil dos pacientes internados em uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica de um hospital escola do interior de São Paulo. Cienc Cuid Saúde 2014; 13(2):294-301.

9. Lanetzki CS, Oliveira CAC, Bass LM, Abramovici S, Troster EJ. O perfil epidemiológico do Centro de Terapia Intensiva Pediátrico do Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein. Einstein 2012; 10(1):16-21

10. El Halal MGS, Barbieri E, Filho RM, Trotta EA, Carvalho PRA. Admission source and mortality in a pediatric intensive care unit. Indian J Crit Care Med 2012; 16(2):81-86.

11. Briassoulis G, Filippou O, Natsi L, Mavrikiou M, Hatzis T. Acute and chronic paediatric intensive care patients: current trends and perspectives on resource utilization. QJM 2004; 97(8):507-518.

12. Khilnani P, Sarma D, Singh R, Uttam R, Rajdev S, Makkar A, Kaur J. Demographic profile and outcome analysis of a tertiary level Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Indian J Pediatr 2004; 71(7):587-591.

13. Parra ME, Gonzzáles AFE, Oshoa WC, Velez AQ. Morbmortalidad em la unidad de cuidados intensivos pediátricos del hospital universitario San Vicente de Paúl, Medellín, Colombia, 2001-2005. Iatreia 2008; 21(1):33-40.
-1414. Embu HY, Yiltok SJ, Isamade ES, Nuhu SI, Oyeniran OO, Uba FA. Paediatric admissions and outcome in a general intensive care unit. Afr J Paediatr Surg 2011; 8(1):57-61.,2929. Abebe T, Girmay M, Michael G, Tesfaye M. The epidemiological profile of pediatric patients admitted to the general intensive care unit in an ethiopian university hospital. Int J Gen Med 2015; 8:63-67., previously described by several authors, was also observed in this study for all age groups, but with no significant difference between them.

Regarding the place of residence, approximately 45% of the admissions were of residents from the Metropolitan Region of Recife. This mesoregion is composed of 14 municipalities and contains 42% of the population of the state; all the PICUs in the SUS network are located in its municipal seat (Recife). As a result of this geographical concentration of PICUs, users residing in 147 of the 170 municipalities of the other mesoregions of the state traveled considerable distances to obtain intensive care. Although it is desirable to locate PICUs in municipalities that have hospitals with better structures, resources and qualified personnel, in the case of Pernambuco the PICUs are all located in the capital, which represents an important inequality regarding access to intensive care.

Patients living in the municipalities of Sertão traveled over 480 km on average, and those living in Agreste traveled more than 150 km to access intensive care. If the measured distances had considered the road network, which was not possible with the secondary data used, these values would be even higher. An example of this is the municipality of Sertão, which is located 730 km from the state capital and had a mean of three residents per month admitted to PICUs located in the city of Recife.

The regionalization of tertiary care, more specifically of pediatric intensive care, requires evaluation by the state to assure patient access to the required care without the barriers of large distances to be covered in order to access care. The lack of equality in the geographical distribution of PICUs limits the access of patients residing in municipalities more distant from Recife and penalizes a large portion of the population. In the municipality of São Paulo, de Souza et al.11. Souza DC, Troster EJ, Carvalho WB, Shin SH, Cordeiro AMG. Disponibilidade de unidades de terapia intensiva pediátrica e neonatal no município de São Paulo. J Pediatr (Rio J) 2004; 80(6):453-460. refers to the inadequate public transportation of critically ill children, which undermines their clinical condition. Although this issue was not investigated in this study, it is likely that this situation is commonplace in Pernambuco, which increases the inequality in the geographical distribution of PICUs in the state. It is therefore important to have an effective system to control vacant spaces and transport options for critically ill children to minimize the negative effects of the geographical concentration of PICUs. In addition, the implementation of programs for the prevention and management of childhood illnesses and accidents can contribute to reduce the need for PICU hospitalizations.

Most of the admissions were made in the two PICUs of the philanthropic network, one of which houses the largest number of beds and is the only type III unit in the state. The type of procedures performed in a PICU depends on the characteristics of the hospital and the intensive care units located within them, which influences the profile of the admitted patients. In this study, the higher frequency of clinical procedures is compatible with that found in some PICUs44. Einloft PR, Garcia PC, Piva JP, Bruno F, Kipper DJ, Fiori RM. Perfil epidemiológico de dezesseis anos de uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica. Rev Saude Publica 2002; 36(6):728-733.,55. Molina RCM, Marcon SS, Uchimura TT, Lopes EP. Caracterização das internações em uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica, de um hospital escola da região Sul do Brasil. Cienc Cuid Saúde 2008; 7(Supl. 1):112-120.,99. Lanetzki CS, Oliveira CAC, Bass LM, Abramovici S, Troster EJ. O perfil epidemiológico do Centro de Terapia Intensiva Pediátrico do Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein. Einstein 2012; 10(1):16-21,1111. Briassoulis G, Filippou O, Natsi L, Mavrikiou M, Hatzis T. Acute and chronic paediatric intensive care patients: current trends and perspectives on resource utilization. QJM 2004; 97(8):507-518.. However, in others, there was a predominance of surgical procedures66. Gemke RJ, Bonsel GJ, Bught AJ. Outcome assessment and quality assurance in pediatric intensive care. In: Tibboel D, van der Voort E, editors. Intensive care in childhood - a challenge to future. 2nd ed. Berlin: Springer; 1996. p. 117-132.,88. Alves MVMFF, Bissiguini PO, Nitsche MJT, Olbrich SRLR, Lis CHBL, Toso AR. Perfil dos pacientes internados em uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica de um hospital escola do interior de São Paulo. Cienc Cuid Saúde 2014; 13(2):294-301.,1414. Embu HY, Yiltok SJ, Isamade ES, Nuhu SI, Oyeniran OO, Uba FA. Paediatric admissions and outcome in a general intensive care unit. Afr J Paediatr Surg 2011; 8(1):57-61.,2525. Bertolini G, Ripamonti D, Cattaneo A, Apolone G. Pediatric risk of mortality: an assessment of its performance in a sample of 26 Italian intensive care units. Crit Care Med 1998; 26(8):1427-1432.. In all of the studied units, surgical procedures only predominated in children under one year of age, although three PICUs are located in hospitals with pediatric surgery capability and three others are located in hospitals that perform heart surgery in children. In children under one year of age, the higher frequency of surgical procedures, among which circulatory surgeries predominate, probably stems from the fact that congenital malformations are the primary cause of admission to the PICU in this age group.

Among the causes of admission to PICUs, neoplasms ranked first both overall and in all groups of patients older than one year. This characteristic was also observed in a Greek PICU1111. Briassoulis G, Filippou O, Natsi L, Mavrikiou M, Hatzis T. Acute and chronic paediatric intensive care patients: current trends and perspectives on resource utilization. QJM 2004; 97(8):507-518., but differs from that found in other units55. Molina RCM, Marcon SS, Uchimura TT, Lopes EP. Caracterização das internações em uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica, de um hospital escola da região Sul do Brasil. Cienc Cuid Saúde 2008; 7(Supl. 1):112-120.,99. Lanetzki CS, Oliveira CAC, Bass LM, Abramovici S, Troster EJ. O perfil epidemiológico do Centro de Terapia Intensiva Pediátrico do Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein. Einstein 2012; 10(1):16-21,1212. Khilnani P, Sarma D, Singh R, Uttam R, Rajdev S, Makkar A, Kaur J. Demographic profile and outcome analysis of a tertiary level Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Indian J Pediatr 2004; 71(7):587-591.,2828. Laphitz C, Assandri E, Ferreira Maia A, Ferrari AM. Derivación de pacientes pediátricos a unidades de cuidados intensivos: estudio de cuatro años en una Institución de Asistencia Médica Colectiva. Rev Med Uruguay 2005; 21(3):215-221. in which respiratory causes predominated. The higher occurrence of chronic diseases in all PICUs studied in Pernambuco may be related to the characteristics of the units and the hospitals in which they are located, in addition to the inequality of geographical access. Therefore, one should investigate the possibility of patients who do not live in the state capital but who need intensive care due to acute illnesses not being transferred to the capital where the PICUs are located.

Infectious and parasitic diseases represented the most common cause of death, except for patients between five and nine years old. This differs from what was observed in Maringá-Paraná55. Molina RCM, Marcon SS, Uchimura TT, Lopes EP. Caracterização das internações em uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica, de um hospital escola da região Sul do Brasil. Cienc Cuid Saúde 2008; 7(Supl. 1):112-120.and in Botucatu-São Paulo88. Alves MVMFF, Bissiguini PO, Nitsche MJT, Olbrich SRLR, Lis CHBL, Toso AR. Perfil dos pacientes internados em uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica de um hospital escola do interior de São Paulo. Cienc Cuid Saúde 2014; 13(2):294-301., where respiratory diseases were more frequent. In the PICU of the capital of São Paulo99. Lanetzki CS, Oliveira CAC, Bass LM, Abramovici S, Troster EJ. O perfil epidemiológico do Centro de Terapia Intensiva Pediátrico do Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein. Einstein 2012; 10(1):16-21, neoplasms were the main cause of death, and in an Ethiopian unit2929. Abebe T, Girmay M, Michael G, Tesfaye M. The epidemiological profile of pediatric patients admitted to the general intensive care unit in an ethiopian university hospital. Int J Gen Med 2015; 8:63-67., trauma was the main cause of death (external causes).

In general, when the diagnosis is early, most infectious and respiratory diseases are easier to manage and do not require many resources and advanced technology when compared to chronic conditions55. Molina RCM, Marcon SS, Uchimura TT, Lopes EP. Caracterização das internações em uma unidade de terapia intensiva pediátrica, de um hospital escola da região Sul do Brasil. Cienc Cuid Saúde 2008; 7(Supl. 1):112-120.. Infectious and parasitic diseases as the main cause of death in the PICU suggest deficiencies in the health care network and in the social structure of the state because they are extremely dependent on better living conditions and are sensitive to primary prevention.

It should be emphasized that the findings of this profile can contribute to the management of the Pernambuco health care network, influencing decisions about the most appropriate locations and structures of the PICUs, the allocation and qualification of personnel, and the provision of equipment and supplies, improving access and quality of care provided in the state. To guarantee good quality of pediatric intensive care, it is not sufficient to only adjust the bed supply and the structure of the units (physical, material, human and financial resources). It is also necessary to improve care processes, with sustained investment in the training and continuing education of the entire health care team, and to invest in specific research areas for the sector.

In conclusion, in Pernambuco, PICU hospitalizations predominate in philanthropic and type III units, are most prominent for 1-4-year-olds, and are primarily due to neoplasias. There are inequalities in the geographical access to hospitalization and the characteristics of the age groups. Clinical procedures outperform surgical procedures, and infectious and parasitic diseases are the main cause of death in PICUs.

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History

  • Received
    28 Oct 2016
  • Reviewed
    21 Mar 2017
  • Accepted
    23 Mar 2017
  • Publication
    Mar 2019
ABRASCO - Associação Brasileira de Saúde Coletiva Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
E-mail: revscol@fiocruz.br