Publication Date


Journal Title

Ann Intensive Care


© 2020, The Author(s). Background: While much has been reported regarding the clinical course of COVID-19 in children, little is known regarding factors associated with organ dysfunction in pediatric COVID-19. We describe critical illness in pediatric patients with active COVID-19 and identify factors associated with PICU admission and organ dysfunction. This is a retrospective chart review of 77 pediatric patients age 1 day to 21 years admitted to two New York City pediatric hospitals within the Northwell Health system between February 1 and April 24, 2020 with PCR + SARS-CoV-2. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the hospital course and laboratory results and bivariate comparisons were performed on variables to determine differences. Results: Forty-seven patients (61%) were admitted to the general pediatric floor and thirty (39%) to the PICU. The majority (97%, n = 75) survived to discharge, 1.3% (n = 1) remain admitted, and 1.3% (n = 1) died. Common indications for PICU admission included hypoxia (50%), hemodynamic instability (20%), diabetic ketoacidosis (6.7%), mediastinal mass (6.7%), apnea (6.7%), acute chest syndrome in sickle cell disease (6.7%), and cardiac dysfunction (6.7%). Of PICU patients, 46.7% experienced any significant organ dysfunction (pSOFA > = 2) during admission. Patients aged 12 years or greater were more likely to be admitted to a PICU compared to younger patients (p = 0.015). Presence of an underlying comorbidity was not associated with need for PICU admission (p = 0.227) or organ dysfunction (p = 0.87). Initial white blood cell count (WBC), platelet count, and ferritin were not associated with need for PICU admission. Initial C-reactive protein was associated with both need for PICU admission (p = 0.005) and presence of organ dysfunction (p = 0.001). Initial WBC and presenting thrombocytopenia were associated with organ dysfunction (p = 0.034 and p = 0.003, respectively). Conclusions: Age over 12 years and initial CRP were associated with need for PICU admission in COVID-19. Organ dysfunction was associated with elevated admission CRP, elevated WBC, and thrombocytopenia. These factors may be useful in determining risk for critical illness and organ dysfunction in pediatric COVID-19.

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Faculty; Northwell Researcher; Northwell Resident


School of Medicine

Primary Department

General Pediatrics

Additional Departments

COVID-19 Publications





Included in

Pediatrics Commons