Pandemic influenza and pediatric intensive care

Raoul E. Nap*, Maarten P. H. M. Andriessen, Nico E. L. Meessen, Marcel J. I. J. Albers, Tjip S. van der Werf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To assess the adequacy of preparedness planning for an influenza pandemic by modeling the pediatric surge capacity of healthcare facility and pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) requirements over time. Governments and Public Health authorities have planned preparedness activities and training for a flu pandemic. PICU facilities will be the limiting factor in healthcare provision for children but detailed analyses for needs and demands in PICU care have not been published.

Design: Based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization estimates and published models of the expected evolution of pandemic flu, we modeled the pediatric surge capacity of healthcare facility and PICU requirements over time. Various scenarios with different assumptions were explored. We compared these demands with estimates of maximal PICU capacity factoring in healthcare worker absenteeism as well as reported and more realistic estimates derived from semistructured telephone interviews with key stakeholders in ICUs in the study area.

Setting: All hospitals and intensive care facilities in the Northern Region in The Netherlands with near 1.7 million inhabitants, of whom approximately 25% is

Measurements and Main Results: Using well-established modeling techniques, evidence-based medicine, and incorporating estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization, we show that PICU capacity may suffice during an influenza pandemic. Even during the peak of the pandemic, most children requiring PICU admission may be served, even those who have nonflu-related conditions, provided that robust indications and decision rules are maintained, both for admission, as well as continuation (or discontinuation) of life support.

Conclusions: We recommend that a model, with assumptions that can be adapted with new information obtained during early stages of the pandemic that is evolving, be an integral part of a preparedness plan for a pandemic influenza with new human transmissible agent like influenza A virus. (Pediatr Crit Care Med 2010; 11: 185-198)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-198
Number of pages14
JournalPediatric critical care medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2010


  • pediatric healthcare preparedness plan
  • pandemic influenza
  • H1N1 influenza
  • pediatric intensive care unit
  • A(H1N1)
  • H1N1

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