Title

Factors associated with interhospital transfer of children with respiratory failure from level II to level I pediatric intensive care units

Abstract

Purpose: Of all sources of admission to level I pediatric intensive care units (PICUs), interhospital transfer admissions from level II PICUs carry the highest mortality and resource use burden. We sought to investigate factors associated with transfer of children with respiratory failure from level II to level I PICUs. Methods: A case-control study was conducted among children with respiratory failure admitted to 6 level II PICUs between January 1, 1997, and December 31, 2007, with frequency matching of 466 nontransferred children (controls) to 187 transferred children (cases). Results: Among 653 children, transferred children were younger and had more comorbidities. After multivariable analysis, transferred children were more likely to have comorbidities (odds ratio [OR], 2.02; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.36-2.98) and receive escalated care including high-frequency ventilation (OR, 2.57; 95% CI, 1.04-6.37) and surfactant therapy (OR, 5.33; 95% CI, 1.35-21.0). Conclusions: The study identified patient-level and process-of-care factors associated with transfer from level II to level I PICUs. These findings highlight the influence of escalated care on transfer decision making for critically ill children in respiratory failure.

Publication Title

Journal of Critical Care

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