Objective: To determine differences between survivors and non-survivors and factors associated with mortality in pediatric intensive care patients with low risk of mortality.
Design: Retrospective cohort study.
Setting: Patients were selected from a national database including all admissions to the PICUs in The Netherlands between 2006 and 2012.
Patients: Patients less than 18 years old admitted to the PICU with a predicted mortality risk lower than 1% according to either the recalibrated Pediatric Risk of Mortality or the Pediatric Index of Mortality 2 were included.
Measurements and Main Results: In total, 16,874 low-risk admissions were included of which 86 patients (0.5%) died. Nonsurvivors had more unplanned admissions (74.4% vs 38.5%; p <0.001), had more complex chronic conditions (76.7% vs 58.8%; p = 0.001), were more often mechanically ventilated (88.1% vs 34.9%; p <0.001), and had a longer length of stay (median, 11 [interquartile range, 5-32] d vs median, 3 [interquartile range, 2-5] d; p <0.001) when compared with survivors. Factors significantly associated with mortality were complex chronic conditions (odds ratio, 3.29; 95% CI, 1.97-5.50), unplanned admissions (odds ratio, 5.78; 95% CI, 3.40-9.81), and admissions in spring/summer (odds ratio, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.08-2.58).
Conclusions: Nonsurvivors in the PICU with a low predicted mortality risk have recognizable risk factors including complex chronic condition and unplanned admissions.