Death of low-risk pediatric intensive care patients

Tuesday 21 May 2024, 10:30 am
PhD candidate
C.W.M. Verlaat drs.
prof. dr. J.G. van der Hoeven , prof. dr. J.A. Hazelzet
dr. J. Lemson, dr. H.W.M. Zegers

This thesis focuses on children in the pediatric intensive care unit who pass away despite having a low predicted risk of mortality. This is termed "unexpected death". Admission of these patients is often acute. They tend to have more severe underlying conditions and longer length of stays compared to low-risk survivors. In contrast, among high-risk deaths, underlying conditions do not occur more frequently compared to high-risk survivors. Research indicates that low-risk deaths more commonly experience unintended healthcare-related harm compared to low-risk survivors and high-risk deaths. Three-quarters of low-risk deaths are affected by healthcare related harm. Healthcare related harm may play a role in nearly a third of these deaths. In almost one in three cases, the healthcare-related harm was potentially avoidable. These findings suggest the need for further improvement in pediatric intensive care to reduce mortality and enhance patient safety.

Carin Verlaat (1964) obtained her medical degree from Radboud University in 1991, followed by pediatric residency training in Tilburg and Utrecht. Since 1997, she has been working in the pediatric intensive care unit at Radboud university medical center. In 2013, she started her research on outcome and safety in the pediatric intensive care, alongside her clinical duties.