Critically ill children across the south have better chance of survival

PICU - Dr Iain Macintosh and parent

Children being treated in intensive care at Southampton Children’s Hospital have a better chance of surviving the most serious illnesses and injuries.

All Paediatric Intensive Care Units (PICUs) in the UK submit data to the Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network (PICAnet), coordinated by the universities of Leeds and Leicester, which then publishes admissions and outcomes data.

As part of the audit, each hospital received a score based on how ill patients were and how many survived, with the average score at 1.0.

If the number was lower it showed a better than average survival rate and, from 2013 to 2015, the PICU at Southampton Children’s Hospital recorded a rate of 0.68 – the lowest in the country.

During this time, 2,896 patients were treated on PICU with more than 1,000 children retrieved and transported by a specialist team in the dedicated PICU ambulance funded by the charity Friends of PICU.

The unit, which has 14 beds and a 24-hour retrieval team, covers Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Surrey, Berkshire, West Sussex, the Isle of Wight, the Channel Islands and other parts of the south.

“I am so proud of the staff on PICU in Southampton for their tireless work to ensure this unit consistently performs as a centre of excellence for patients across the south and sometimes further afield,” said Dr Iain Macintosh, director of the PICU at Southampton Children's Hospital.

“From doctors and nurses on the unit and our sister specialties, to the retrieval team and our support services, we have staff at the top of their fields. It is a fantastic feeling to know families can take comfort in the fact their children are receiving the best treatment possible which offers the best chance of survival."

Friends of PICU, which is celebrating its ten-year anniversary and works in partnership with Southampton Children’s Hospital Charity – part of Southampton Hospital Charity – has donated three specialist retrieval ambulances since 2012, with the latest – named Hero – unveiled at a ceremony last month.

FoPICU launches new ambulance

The £148,000 vehicle, designed by the PICU team in Southampton, has a purpose-built trolley containing ventilators, a monitor, six syringe drivers with a space and docking station, defibrillator, portable suction cups, nitric oxide monitor and three oxygen and air cylinders.

Mark Hilder, secretary of Friends of PICU, said: “It is wonderful the charity is able to provide all the funds for this state-of-the-art ambulance.

“It is testament to the kindness of our supporters, who have completed tough personal challenges, organised events, baked cakes, worn fancy clothes and generously given money often at such difficult personal times.”

Posted on Tuesday 15 August 2017