A Tale of 8 Cities: Pediatric Critical Care Redeployment to Adult Care During Wave 1 of COVID-19

Folafoluwa O. Odetola, Erin F. Carlton, Alyssa Dews, Renee R. Anspach, Melissa C. Evans, Joy D. Howell, Heather Keenan, Nikoleta S. Kolovos, Amanda B. Levin, Jenny Mendelson, H. Michael Ushay, Phoebe H. Yager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Pediatric hospital resources including critical care faculty (intensivists) redeployed to provide care to adults in adult ICUs or repurposed PICUs during wave 1 of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. OBJECTIVES: To determine the magnitude of pediatric hospital resource redeployment and the experience of pediatric intensivists who redeployed to provide critical care to adults with COVID-19. METHODS: A mixed methods study was conducted at 9 hospitals in 8 United States cities where pediatric resources were redeployed to provide care to critically ill adults with COVID-19. A survey of redeployed pediatric hospital resources and semistructured interviews of 40 redeployed pediatric intensivists were simultaneously conducted. Quantitative data were summarized as median (interquartile range) values. RESULTS: At study hospitals, there was expansion in adult ICU beds from a baseline median of 100 (86–107) to 205 (108–250). The median proportion (%) of redeployed faculty (88; 66–100), nurses (46; 10–100), respiratory therapists (48; 18–100), invasive ventilators (72; 0–100), and PICU beds (71; 0–100) was substantial. Though driven by a desire to help, faculty were challenged by unfamiliar ICU settings and culture, lack of knowledge of COVID-19 and fear of contracting it, limited supplies, exhaustion, and restricted family visitation. They recommended deliberate preparedness with interprofessional collaboration and cross-training, and establishment of a robust supply chain infrastructure for future public health emergencies and will redeploy again if asked. CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric resource redeployment was substantial and pediatric intensivists faced formidable challenges yet would readily redeploy again.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)822-830
Number of pages9
JournalHospital Pediatrics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023


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