Characteristics and Outcomes of Intrahospital Transfers from Neonatal Intensive Care to Pediatric Intensive Care Units

Lauren Mazur, Ahmed Veten, Gary Ceneviva, Sandeep Pradhan, Junjia Zhu, Neal J. Thomas, Conrad Krawiec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Critically ill children may be transferred from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) for further critical care, but the frequency and outcomes of this patient population are unknown. The aims of this study are to describe the characteristics and outcomes in patients transferred from NICU to PICUs. We hypothesized that a higher-than-expected mortality would be present for patients with respiratory or cardiovascular diagnoses that underwent a NICU to PICU transition and that specific factors (timing of transfer, illness severity, and critical care interventions) are associated with a higher risk of mortality in the cardiovascular group. Study Design: Retrospective analysis of Virtual Pediatric Systems, LLC (2011-2019) deidentified cardiovascular and respiratory NICU to PICU subject data. We evaluated demographics, PICU length of stay, procedures, disposition, and mortality scores. Pediatric Index of Mortality 2 (PIM2) score was utilized to determine the standardized mortality ratio (SMR). Results: SMR of 4,547 included subjects (3,607 [79.3%] cardiovascular and 940 [20.7%] respiratory) was 1.795 (95% confidence interval: 1.62-1.97, p < 0.0001). Multivariable logistic regression analysis demonstrated transfer age (cardiovascular: odds ratio, 1.246 [1.10-1.41], p = 0.0005; respiratory: 1.254 [1.07-1.47], p = 0.0046) and PIM2 scores (cardiovascular: 1.404 [1.25-1.58], p < 0.0001; respiratory: 1.353 [1.08-1.70], p = 0.0095) were significantly associated with increased odds of mortality. Conclusion: In this present study, we found that NICU to PICU observed deaths were high and various factors, particularly transfer age, were associated with increased odds of mortality. While the type of patients evaluated in this study likely influenced mortality, further investigation is warranted to determine if transfer timing is also a factor. Key Points NICU patients may be transitioned to the PICU. NICU to PICU observed deaths were high. Transfer timing may be a factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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