Introduction: Mechanical ventilation is one of the indispensable tools in pediatric intensive care units. Few studies addressed the epidemiology of pediatric patients on mechanical ventilation and the frequently used modes of ventilation. This is the first study to describe the practice of mechanical ventilation (MV) in Egyptian pediatric intensive care units (PICUs).

Methods: This prospective observational study was conducted from January 2014 to December 2014 in two pediatric intensive care units at Cairo University Pediatric Hospital. The study included all children who were intubated and mechanically ventilated for more than 12 hours of admission. Pre-coded data was entered into the SPSS version 21 for data analysis. Comparison between groups was performed using Mann Whitney test for quantitative variables and Chi square with Fisher’s exact test for qualitative ones. Multivariate logistic regression model was conducted to explore the significant predictors for PICU mortality.

Results: In total, 893 children were admitted and 293 were mechanically ventilated. The incidence of utilizing MV in children was 32.8%. Neurologic causes were the most common reasons for initiation of MV, with 114 (38.9%) cases. The most commonly preferred mode for initiation of MV is SIMV with PS. Complication occurred in 117 (39.9%) of the cases. The most commonly preferred method of weaning was PS with CPAP in 115/154 (74.7%) cases. Mortality occurred in 134/293 (45.7%) of patients. Duration of mechanical ventilation was significantly longer with neuromuscular diseases, and with the occurrence of complications (p<0.001). There was a significant relationship between mortality and higher PRISM III score, cardiovascular cases, sepsis, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), and with barotrauma. 

Conclusions: In our practice, MV is used oftentimes with almost a third of admissions requiring intubation for different reasons. Most children are ventilated due to neurologic causes. This study paves the way for improving our knowledge of MV with avoiding the fatal complications.


Keywords: Mechanical Ventilation, Pediatric, Prognosis, Mortality, Respiratory Failure
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Volume 12, issue 2, April-June 2020



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