Middle Articles

Children in Adult Intensive Therapy Units

Br Med J 1970; 1 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.1.5699.810 (Published 28 March 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;1:810
  1. J. R. Harper,
  2. G. Varakis

    Abstract

    From experience in the Northampton/Kettering area 9 to 10% of all patients in a general hospital requiring care in an intensive therapy unit were aged 12 years or under. Fifty-nine children were admitted to the intensive therapy unit of Northampton General Hospital between May 1967 and August 1969. Of these, 22 had been injured in road traffic accidents, five were surgical emergencies, five had meningitis, four status epilepticus, and four respiratory infections.

    All of the 30 families interviewed were in favour of their child being admitted to the unit, and none considered that the experience had had any lasting adverse psychological effect on the child. It is suggested that certain carefully selected child patients do benefit from the facilities of an intensive therapy unit, and for this reason such units must be designed, equipped, and staffed with this in mind.

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