The Epidemiology of Hospital Death Following Pediatric Severe Sepsis: When, Why, and How Children With Sepsis Die. (Dodd)

Weiss SL, et al. The Epidemiology of Hospital Death Following Pediatric Severe Sepsis: When, Why, and How Children With Sepsis Die. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2017 Sep;18(9):823-830.

OBJECTIVE: The epidemiology of in-hospital death after pediatric sepsis has not been well characterized. We investigated the timing, cause, mode, and attribution of death in children with severe sepsis, hypothesizing that refractory shock leading to early death is rare in the current era.

DESIGN: Retrospective observational study.

SETTING: Emergency departments and ICUs at two academic children’s hospitals.

PATIENTS: Seventy-nine patients less than 18 years old treated for severe sepsis/septic shock in 2012-2013 who died prior to hospital discharge.

INTERVENTIONS: None.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Time to death from sepsis recognition, cause and mode of death, and attribution of death to sepsis were determined from medical records. Organ dysfunction was assessed via daily Pediatric Logistic Organ Dysfunction-2 scores for 7 days preceding death with an increase greater than or equal to 5 defined as worsening organ dysfunction. The median time to death was 8 days (interquartile range, 1-12 d) with 25%, 35%, and 49% of cumulative deaths within 1, 3, and 7 days of sepsis recognition, respectively. The most common cause of death was refractory shock (34%), then multiple organ dysfunction syndrome after shock recovery (27%), neurologic injury (19%), single-organ respiratory failure (9%), and nonseptic comorbidity (6%). Early deaths (≤ 3 d) were mostly due to refractory shock in young, previously healthy patients while multiple organ dysfunction syndrome predominated after 3 days. Mode of death was withdrawal in 72%, unsuccessful cardiopulmonary resuscitation in 22%, and irreversible loss of neurologic function in 6%. Ninety percent of deaths were attributable to acute or chronic manifestations of sepsis. Only 23% had a rise in Pediatric Logistic Organ Dysfunction-2 that indicated worsening organ dysfunction.

CONCLUSIONS: Refractory shock remains a common cause of death in pediatric sepsis, especially for early deaths. Later deaths were mostly attributable to multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, neurologic, and respiratory failure after life-sustaining therapies were limited. A pattern of persistent, rather than worsening, organ dysfunction preceded most deaths.

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Long-Term Survival and Causes of Late Death in Children Treated With Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation. (Colman)

von Bahr V, Hultman J, Eksborg S, et al. Long-Term Survival and Causes of Late Death in Children Treated With Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2017 Jan 10.

OBJECTIVE: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation has been used in patients with severe circulatory or respiratory failure since the 1970s, but the knowledge on long-term survival in this group is scarce. The aim of the present study was to investigate the 10-year survival rates and causes of late death in children treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

DESIGN: Single-center, retrospective cohort study.

SETTING: Tertiary referral center for extracorporeal life support.

PATIENTS: Neonatal and pediatric patients treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation from 1987 to December 2013.

INTERVENTIONS: None.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Survival status was obtained from the national Causes of Death registry. Patient background data along with data on survival and causes of death were collected. Survival rates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Of 400 subjects, 76% survived to discharge. The median follow-up time in survivors was 7.2 years. There was a high mortality rate within the first months after discharge. In the group of patients who survived the first 90 days after treatment, the 10-year survival rates were 93% in neonates and 89% in pediatric patients and were particularly beneficial in patients whose indication for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was meconium aspiration syndrome, trauma, or infectious diseases. Late deaths were seen in some diagnostic groups, but the Kaplan-Meier curves plateaued over time.

CONCLUSIONS: Children who survive the first months after treatment with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation have a high long-term survival rate. The prognosis is especially favorable in patients with reversible conditions.