Deaths in children’s intensive care at ‘all time low’

Mortality rates in children’s intensive care units are at the lowest since records began despite an increase in admissions, a new report shows

According to the Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network (PICANet), the death rate was 3.8% in 2012, despite admissions rising 5% from 18,596 in 2011 to 19,516 in 2012.

Dr Roger Parslow, from the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Leeds, who was part of the research team, said: “With increasing birth rates, the pressure on the paediatric intensive care service has increased, but it is clear that standards of care are not dropping in relation to mortality.”

However, the report also found that fewer than three quarters of intensive care units have adequate nurse staffing levels, with only 60% of units having the required level of cover at night and at weekends.