Original Contribution

European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 389-393

First online:

Prolonged stay at the paediatric intensive care unit associated with paediatric delirium

  • Inge A. P. SmeetsAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Psychology, European Graduate School of Neuroscience, Maastricht University Medical Centre+
  • , Eva Y. L. TanAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Psychology, European Graduate School of Neuroscience, Maastricht University Medical Centre+
  • , Helen G. M. VossenAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Psychology, European Graduate School of Neuroscience, Maastricht University Medical Centre+
  • , Piet L. J. M. LeroyAffiliated withDepartment of Paediatrics, Division of Paediatric Intensive Care, Maastricht University Medical Centre+
  • , Richel H. B. LousbergAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Psychology, European Graduate School of Neuroscience, Maastricht University Medical Centre+
  • , Jim van OsAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Psychology, European Graduate School of Neuroscience, Maastricht University Medical Centre+Division of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry
  • , Jan N. M. SchieveldAffiliated withDivision of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Maastricht University Medical Centre+ Email author 

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to investigate, under circumstances of routine care, the impact of paediatric delirium (PD) on length of stay in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) as well as on direct financial costs. A five-year prospective observational study (2002–2007) was carried out in a tertiary eight-bed PICU in the Netherlands. Critically ill children aged 1 to 18 years who were acutely, non-electively and consecutively admitted to the PICU and detected as having PD in routine care were compared to critically ill children aged 1 to 18 years without signs of PD. PD, population characteristics and severity of illness at admission were used as predictors for length of PICU stay. Differences in length of stay yielded short-term, direct medical costs associated with PD. Forty-nine children with and 98 children without PD were included. PD prolonged length of PICU stay with 2.39 days, independent of severity of illness, age, gender, mechanical ventilation and medical indication for admission (B = 0.38, P < 0.001). PD increased direct medical costs with 1.5%. The results suggest a negative prognostic influence of PD on duration of PICU stay in routine care, resulting in an increase of direct medical costs.

Keywords

Delirium Children Paediatric intensive care unit Length of stay Costs