Very accurate data is collected on children who receive intensive care in the UK and Ireland by the Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network (PICANet). The following information is from PICANet’s 2015 National Report for Scotland covering admissions of Scottish children from 2012-2014 (you can download it here):
  • 4,404 children under 16 years whose usual place of residence is Scotland were admitted to paediatric intensive care units in the UK and the Republic of Ireland between 1st January 2012 and 31st December 2014
Age specific prevalence was 158 (95%CI: 154-163) admissions per 100,000 children
  • this resulted in 25,386 bed-days being provided for Scottish children in paediatric intensive care
    • nearly half of these were provided for children under one year of age.
    • over half of admissions were for respiratory (lung, 28%) or cardiovascular (heart, 19%) reasons
    • half of admissions were ‘planned - following surgery’.
    • over half of children admitted to PICU need invasive ventilation to support their lungs.
  • The majority of Scottish children were treated in Paediatric Intensive Care Units within Scotland

    • almost 69% of admissions went to Glasgow
    • 29% to Edinburgh
    • just over 2% to PICUs outwith Scotland
  • Most children stay in Paediatric Intensive Care for two days or less, but this varies from less than an hour to a year or longer in some cases.
  • It is extremely rare for children to die in Paediatric Intensive Care; over 97% of children leave this type of specialist care alive.
    • Crude mortality for Scottish children in Paediatric Intensive Care was 2.0% (compared to 3.7% in the UK and the Republic of Ireland) from 2012-2014. This had fallen slightly from 2.3% in 2009-2011.