Irish Journal of Medical Science

, Volume 180, Issue 1, pp 85–89 | Cite as

Indications for admission, treatment and improved outcome of paediatric haematology/oncology patients admitted to a tertiary paediatric ICU

  • C. Owens
  • D. Mannion
  • A. O’Marcaigh
  • M. Waldron
  • K. Butler
  • A. O’Meara
Original Article



Overall survival in paediatric cancer has improved significantly over the past 20 years. Treatment strategies have been intensified, and supportive care has made substantial advances. Historically, paediatric oncology patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) have had extremely poor outcomes.


We conducted a retrospective cohort study over a 3-year period in a single centre to evaluate the outcomes for this particularly vulnerable group of patients admitted to a paediatric ICU.


Fifty-five patients were admitted a total of 66 times to the ICU during the study period. The mortality rate of this group was 23% compared with an overall ICU mortality rate of 5%. 11/15 patients who died had an underlying haematological malignancy. Twenty-eight percent of children with organism-identified sepsis died.


While mortality rates for paediatric oncology patients admitted to a ICU have improved, they are still substantial. Those with a haematological malignancy or admitted with sepsis are most at risk.


Paediatric Cancer Critical illness Sepsis Toxicity 


Conflict of interest

The authors disclose no financial or ethical conflicts of interest regarding the submission of this article.


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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Owens
    • 1
  • D. Mannion
    • 2
  • A. O’Marcaigh
    • 1
  • M. Waldron
    • 3
  • K. Butler
    • 4
  • A. O’Meara
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Haematology/OncologyOur Lady’s Children’s HospitalDublinIreland
  2. 2.Department of Intensive CareOur Lady’s Children’s HospitalDublinIreland
  3. 3.Department of NephrologyOur Lady’s Children’s HospitalDublinIreland
  4. 4.Department of Infectious DiseasesOur Lady’s Children’s HospitalDublinIreland

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