Executive Summary: Criteria for Critical Care of Infants and Children: PICU Admission, Discharge, and Triage Practice Statement and Levels of Care Guidance

This is an executive summary of the 2019 update of the 2004 guidelines and levels of care for PICU. Since previous guidelines, there has been a tremendous transformation of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine with advancements in pediatric cardiovascular medicine, transplant, neurology, trauma, and oncology as well as improvements of care in general PICUs. This has led to the evolution of resources and training in the provision of care through the PICU. Outcome and quality research related to admission, transfer, and discharge criteria as well as literature regarding PICU levels of care to include volume, staffing, and structure were reviewed and included in this statement as appropriate. Consequently, the purposes of this significant update are to address the transformation of the field and codify a revised set of guidelines that will enable hospitals, institutions, and individuals in developing the appropriate PICU for their community needs. The target audiences of the practice statement and guidance are broad and include critical care professionals; pediatricians; pediatric subspecialists; pediatric surgeons; pediatric surgical subspecialists; pediatric imaging physicians; and other members of the patient care team such as nurses, therapists, dieticians, pharmacists, social workers, care coordinators, and hospital administrators who make daily administrative and clinical decisions in all PICU levels of care.

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