Intensive care admissions are almost twice as likely among children from deprived backgrounds than among those from more affluent homes, according to new research.
However, once these children were receiving treatment in hospital, they were just as likely to survive as richer patients, the research by experts at the universities of Leeds and Leicester, UK, found.
The study is the largest ever national audit of admissions to paediatric intensive care in England and Wales, and analysed the details of more than 40,000 children admitted to 29 paediatric intensive care units over four years to 2007.
Around one in a thousand children were admitted to intensive care during that time, with data showing that those from the poorest fifth of the population were more likely to be admitted than those from the most affluent fifth.
Dr Roger Parslow, senior lecturer in the paediatric epidemiology group at the University of Leeds and one of the study’s authors said: “This is the first truly national audit of paediatric intensive care.
“It has a very high quality data-set which has brought to light a number of important issues which should now be examined in more detail.”
Copyright Press Association 2008