Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 113–118 | Cite as

Children with human immunodeficiency virus admitted to a paediatric intensive care unit in the United Kingdom over a 10-year period

  • Sian Cooper
  • Hermione Lyall
  • Sam Walters
  • Gareth Tudor-Williams
  • Parviz Habibi
  • Claudine de Munter
  • Joseph Britto
  • Simon NadelEmail author
Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care



There is little published experience regarding the outcome of children with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection treated on a paediatric intensive care unit (PICU). We describe the outcome of children with HIV infection in our hospital over a 10-year period.


We performed a retrospective analysis of all children with HIV infection admitted to our PICU between August 1992 and July 2002. Their ages ranged from 2 months to 11 years (median 4 months). Information collected included demographic data, clinical presentation, investigations, treatment and outcome.


There were 42 children with HIV infection admitted to PICU during the study period, with 66 admission episodes. Sixteen (38%) children died in PICU, and 26 (62%) survived their last PICU admission. Of these, 5 died at a later date (between 1 and 32 months after discharge from PICU) and 21 survived to the time of reporting. The most frequent reason for PICU admission was respiratory failure, due either to Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (45% of admissions) or to other respiratory pathogens (32%). Over 80% of current survivors had good outcomes in terms of growth and development; 6 children had evidence of spastic diplegia.


Although there is significant mortality among children with HIV infection admitted to PICU, many of them survive their admission, and over 80% of the survivors have good outcomes with the currently available highly active anti-retroviral therapy. This provides evidence that intensive care treatment is appropriate for this group of patients in the United Kingdom.


Human immunodeficiency virus infection Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome Children Paediatric intensive care unit United Kingdom 



The authors thank Jo Dodge, Jo White and Mary Griffiths for their help with data collection, and Dr. David Stephens for his help with statistical analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sian Cooper
    • 1
  • Hermione Lyall
    • 2
  • Sam Walters
    • 2
  • Gareth Tudor-Williams
    • 2
  • Parviz Habibi
    • 1
  • Claudine de Munter
    • 1
  • Joseph Britto
    • 1
  • Simon Nadel
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, QEQM WingSt Mary’s HospitalLondonUK
  2. 2.Paediatric Infectious Diseases Unit, QEQM WingSt Mary’s HospitalLondonUK

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