Background: The aim of this study was to describe the structure, organization, management, and staffing of pediatric critical care (PCC) in Korea. Methods: We directed a questionnaire survey for all Upper Grade General Hospitals (n = 43) in Korea in 2015. The first questionnaire was mainly about structure, organization, and staffing and responses were obtained from 32 hospitals. The second questionnaire was mainly about patients and management. Responses to second questionnaire were obtained from 18 hospitals. Results: Twelve from 32 Upper Grade General Hospitals had pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) and 11 of them had the PICU which was exclusive for children. Total number of PICU beds in Korea was 113. The ratio of the number of PICU beds to the number of children was 1:77,460 in Korea and this ratio is lower than that of other developed countries. The mean number of beds in the PICUs was 9.4 ± 9.3 (range, 2-30). There were 16 medical doctors who were assigned for PCC and only 5 of them were full time pediatric intensivists. In the 18 Upper Grade General Hospitals that responded to the second questionnaire survey, there were 97 patients in the PICUs with an average number of 5.7 ± 7.2 (range, 0-22) on the survey day. The mean age of the patients was 3.4 ± 5.6 years. The mean length of hospital stay was 82 ± 271 days. The mean Pediatric Risk of Mortality score III was 9.4 ± 7.8 at the time of admission to the PICUs. Conclusion: There is a considerable shortage of PICU beds compared to those in developed countries. In addition, the proportion of PICUs with PCC specialists is much lower than those in the US and European countries.
- Critical care
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