The April 2017 issue of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine (PCCM) released the latest findings from the Prevalence of Acute critical Neurological disease in children: a Global Epidemiological Assessment (PANGEA) study.
This study offers a worldwide snapshot of acute neurologic conditions among critically ill children. One-hundred-seven hospital ICUs participated by providing information on children with acute neurologic conditions, contributing information on a total of 924 patients.
Overall, 16.2% of children in the reporting ICUs had acute neurologic conditions. Many children had preexisting medical conditions, but 61% had normal neurologic status before their current hospitalizations.
Cardiac arrest, resulting in lack of blood flow to the brain, was the most common overall cause of acute neurologic conditions (23%). Other causes included traumatic brain injury (19%), central nervous system infection or inflammation (16%), and stroke or a mass, such as a brain tumor (9% each).
The study found that regions differed in terms of most common condition reported. Infection/inflammation was the most common cause in Asia, South America, and the sole African hospital contributing to the study. In all other regions, cardiac arrest was the main cause.
Ericka L. Fink, MD, MS, and coauthors believe that the PANGEA data “suggest a vital need for resources to assist in the challenge of improving outcomes for these children throughout the span of the periods of emergency care through to rehabilitation.”