Readmissions to the ICU among children with tracheostomies placed after cardiac arrest

Julia A. Heneghan, Steven L. Shein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Describe clinical outcomes and risk factors for ICU readmissions in a cohort of children who underwent tracheostomy placement after cardiac arrest.

METHODS: A retrospective, multicenter cohort analysis of children <18 years old admitted to a Virtual Pediatric Systems, LLC-participating PICU from January 2009 to December 2016 and underwent tracheostomy after cardiac arrest.

RESULTS: Among 394 index admissions, the median age was 16.8 months (interquartile range [IQR] 5.3-89.3), and Pediatric Risk of Mortality 3 scores (median 9 [IQR 4.75-16]) indicated severe illness. Baseline neurologic function was generally age appropriate (Pediatric Cerebral Performance Category score: median 2 [IQR 1-3]). The most common primary diagnosis categories were respiratory (31.0%), cardiac (21.6%), and injury and/or poisoning (18.3%). Post-tracheostomy mortality during the index admission was 9.3%. Among the 358 patients who survived to discharge, 334 had >180 days of available follow-up data. Two hundred and five (61.4%) patients were readmitted at least once for a total of 643 readmissions (range 0-30; median 1 [IQR 0-2]). We observed 0.54 readmissions per patient-year. The median time to first readmission was 50.3 days (IQR 12.8-173.7). Significant risk factors for readmission included a pre-existing diagnosis of chronic lung disease, congenital heart disease and/or heart failure, prematurity, and new seizures during the index admission. The most common indication for readmission was respiratory illness (46.2%). Mortality (3.3%) and procedural burden during readmission were consistent with general PICU care.

CONCLUSIONS: ICU readmission among children who undergo postarrest tracheostomy is common, usually due to respiratory causes, and involves outcomes and resource use similar to other ICU admissions. Risk factors for readmission are largely nonmodifiable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-264
Number of pages9
JournalHospital Pediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 by the American Academy of Pediatrics

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Multicenter Study


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