Pediatric Sepsis Survivors May Face New, Progressing Comorbidities

Nearly one in five have new or worsening medical condition versus nonsepsis critical care survivors
Woman holding children hand in hospital. girl sick in hospital. People with medical concept.
Woman holding children hand in hospital. girl sick in hospital. People with medical concept. Adobe Stock

THURSDAY, Oct. 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Among critically ill children who survived sepsis, about one in five developed or had progression of a comorbid condition following sepsis hospitalization, according to a study published online Oct. 10 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Erin F. Carlton, M.D., from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and colleagues quantified the development and progression of four common conditions in the six months after sepsis and assessed whether they differed after hospitalization for sepsis versus nonsepsis among critically ill children. The analysis included children (younger than 19 years) with sepsis (5,150 patients) or nonsepsis hospitalization (96,361 patients; Jan. 1, 2010, to June 30, 2018).

The researchers found that among pediatric sepsis survivors, 13.0 percent developed a new target condition, and 21.0 percent with a preexisting target condition had disease progression. Compared with survivors of nonsepsis hospitalizations, new conditions were more common among sepsis survivors (new chronic respiratory failure: odds ratio [OR], 2.54; new supplemental nutritional dependence: OR, 3.17; and new chronic kidney disease: OR, 1.65), although a new seizure disorder was less common (OR, 0.77). Among sepsis survivors, progressive supplemental nutritional dependence was more common (OR, 2.95), but progressive epilepsy was less common (OR, 0.74). Rates of progressive respiratory failure and progressive chronic kidney disease were similar among survivors of sepsis versus nonsepsis hospitalizations.

“Survivors of pediatric sepsis may benefit from structured follow-up to identify and treat new or worsening medical comorbid conditions,” the authors write.

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