2019 Marian Barrett Lecture - Surviving paediatric critical illness

Celebrating the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, we are pleased to once again share the recording of last year's Marian Barrett Lecture.

In October 2019 we were delighted to welcome Professor Martha A. Q. Curley the Ruth M. Colket Endowed Chair in Pediatric Nursing at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing to deliver the 2019 Marian Barrett Lecture.Professor Jane Gunn, Professor Martha Curley, Professor Marie Gerdtz, Professor Linda Denehy

In her lecture, “Surviving paediatric critical illness: Opportunities to improve long-term outcomes” Professor Curley highlighted the progress made in paediatric critical care where survival has increased substantially during the recent decades and the focus has now broadened to help those who survive childhood critical illness.

Professor Curley reviewed the concept of Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) and the recently articulated PICS-p framework as an approach to help illuminate the phenomena of surviving childhood critical illness and guide outcomes measurement in the field. In mapping out the potential recovery trajectories after paediatric critical illness, Professor Curley shared findings from one of her own large multicentre trials, showing that post-discharge morbidity after paediatric respiratory failure was common. The risk factors for functional decline and impaired quality of life included exposure to prolonged use of sedatives and analgesics, inadequate pain management in younger children and inadequate sedation management in older children.

Despite delivering critical care therapies with the best of intentions, this thought-provoking lecture revealed that these therapies may also be associated with adverse outcomes. It has prompted reflection on how to best address these potentially modifiable factors during a child’s hospitalisation.