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Original research
Incidence and predictors of mortality among children admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit at the University of Gondar comprehensive specialised hospital, northwest Ethiopia: a prospective observational cohort study
  1. Nahom Worku Teshager1,
  2. Ashenafi Tazebew Amare1,
  3. Koku Sisay Tamirat2
  1. 1Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, School of Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Science, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia
  2. 2Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia
  1. Correspondence to Koku Sisay Tamirat; kokusisay23{at}


Objective To determine the incidence and predictors of mortality among children admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at the University of Gondar comprehensive specialised hospital, northwest Ethiopia.

Design A single-centre prospective observational cohort study.

Participants A total of 313 children admitted to the ICU of the University of Gondar comprehensive specialised hospital during a one-and-a-half-year period.

Measurements Data were collected using standard case record form, physical examination and patient document review. Clinical characteristics such as systolic blood pressure, pupillary light reflex, oxygen saturation and need for mechanical ventilation (MV) were assessed and documented within the first hour of admission and entered into an electronic application to calculate the modified Pediatric Index of Mortality 2 (PIM 2) Score. We fitted the Cox proportional hazards model to identify predictors of mortality.

Result The median age at admission was 48 months with IQR: 12–122, 28.1% were infants and adolescents accounted for 21.4%. Of the total patients studied, 59.7% were males. The median observation time was 3 days with (IQR: 1–6). One hundred and two (32.6%) children died during the follow-up time, and the incidence of mortality was 6.9 deaths per 100 person-day observation. Weekend admission (adjusted HR (AHR)=1.63, 95% CI: 1.02 to 2.62), critical illness diagnoses (AHR=1.79, 95% CI: 1.13 to 2.85), need for MV (AHR=2.36, 95% CI: 1.39 to 4.01) and modified PIM 2 Score (AHR=1.53, 95% CI: 1.36 to 1.72) were the predictors of mortality.

Conclusion The rate of mortality in the PICU was high, admission over weekends, need for MV, critical illness diagnoses and higher PIM 2 scores were significant and independent predictors of mortality.

  • paediatric intensive & critical care
  • accident & emergency medicine
  • intensive & critical care

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  • Contributors All authors participated in designing the study, performed data analysis, visualisation, validation of the whole work and prepared the manuscript. NWT took part in funding acquisition, data collection, supervision and software, and other resources. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The study was funded by the University of Gondar, Ethiopia. The funder has no role in study design, data collection, and analysis, interpretation of data, the decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval Ethical clearance was obtained from the Institutional Ethical Review Board of the University of Gondar’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences. Informed verbal consent was obtained from the caretakers. The name or any other identifying information was not recorded on the data collection form, and all information taken from the chart was kept strictly confidential and in a safe place. The information retrieved was used only for the study purpose.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. Data are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

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