A new report reveals a preliminary picture of children in the UK admitted to paediatric intensive care units (PICUs) with COVID-19 in NHS and independent hospitals. The report was compiled by the Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network (PICANet), a collaborative effort of the University of Leeds and the University of Leicester.
Key findings from the report for the period from 15 March 2020 to 13 June 2020 are as follows:
- Seventy-one children were admitted to a PICU. They tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 either before admission or during their stay.
- Just under 60 per cent of the children were admitted for infections or respiratory ailments.
- In the PICU, 60 per cent of children required invasive ventilation for a median of six (interquartile range, 3-12) days.
- As of 13 June 2020, five deaths were recorded, and three children remained in intensive care.
- Sixty-three children were discharged, i.e., either transferred to an alternative intensive care facility or a different hospital ward, or were sent home.
- The median age of the children admitted to the PICU was nine (interquartile range, 1-13) years.
- Sixty-one per cent of the children admitted were male.
- Thirty per cent of children admitted were white, 23 per cent were of Asian heritage and 14 per cent were black. Ethnicity data were not available for 21 per cent of children.
Dr Richard Feltbower, co-principal investigator at PICANet, said: "It is worth stressing that some might not have been in a PICU primarily because of COVID-19: they may have had other health conditions. Further analysis will investigate whether any of the children were experiencing a rare inflammatory disease linked to COVID-19 called paediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome."