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Background: Centralisation of paediatric intensive care units (PICUs) has the increased the need for specialist paediatric critical care transport teams (PCCT) to transport critically ill children to PICU. We investigated the impact of care provided by PCCTs for children on mortality and other clinically important outcomes. Methods: We analysed linked national data from the Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network (PICANet) from children admitted to PICUs in England and Wales (2014–2016) to assess the impact of who led the child’s transport, whether prolonged stabilisation by the PCCT was detrimental and the impact of critical incidents during transport on patient outcome. We used logistic regression models to estimate the adjusted odds and probability of mortality within 30 days of admission to PICU (primary outcome) and negative binomial models to investigate length of stay (LOS) and length of invasive ventilation (LOV). Results: The study included 9112 children transported to PICU. The most common diagnosis was respiratory problems; junior doctors led the PCCT in just over half of all transports; and the 30-day mortality was 7.1%. Transports led by Advanced Nurse Practitioners and Junior Doctors had similar outcomes (adjusted mortality ANP: 0.035 versus Junior Doctor: 0.038). Prolonged stabilisation by the PCCT was possibly associated with increased mortality (0.059, 95% CI: 0.040 to 0.079 versus short stabilisation 0.044, 95% CI: 0.039 to 0.048). Critical incidents involving the child increased the adjusted odds of mortality within 30 days (odds ratio: 3.07). Conclusions: Variations in team composition between PCCTs appear to have little effect on patient outcomes. We believe differences in stabilisation approaches are due to residual confounding. Our finding that critical incidents were associated with worse outcomes indicates that safety during critical care transport is an important area for future quality improvement work.

Original publication




Journal article


Bmc pediatrics

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