Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine recently hosted the Pediatric Critical Care Summit of the Americas, a first of its kind bilingual assembly that provided a forum for building bridges among health care providers in the Americas.
More than 500 people from 15 countries attended the summit, which was held from November 7-10 and included seven pre-conference workshops, a tour of Texas Children’s Hospital, three full days of symposia, a bachata dance workshop and a fiesta.
Some of the goals of the summit, which blended two pediatric critical care organizations – the US-based 26th Pediatric Critical Care Colloquium and the Latin American-based 15th Latin American Congress of Pediatric Intensive Care – were:
- Support, encourage and promote excellence in clinical care and research in the field of pediatric critical care across the Americas.
- Encourage collegial relationships between US, Central American and Latin American pediatric intensivists and the greater inter-professional team.
- Promote basic, translational, and clinical research related to critically ill children both while acutely ill and after discharge from the ICU.
- Promote and disseminate related quality improvement and patient safety materials through established and developing communication technologies.
Plenary speakers and their topics of discussion included:
- Drs. Jesus Lopez-Herce (Spain) and Jefferson Piva (Brazil) – Intensive Care in the Americas in 2019: Forging a New Doctor
- Texas Children’s Physician-in-Chief Dr. Mark W. Kline – Global / International Outreach in Pediatric Medicine
- Texas Children’s associate chief of Critical Care Medicine Dr. Paul Checchia – Pediatric Cardiac Care in 2019
- Dr. Bettina Von Dessauer (Chile) and Texas Children’s Critical Care physician Dr. Fernando Stein – The Human Cost of ICU Survival
- Dr. Joseph Carcillo (University of Pittsburgh) – Inflammation, Sepsis, and Organ Failure: Where are We Going?
The modernization of pediatric critical care medicine has improved the quality of health care delivered to children with life-threatening conditions and has drastically reduced their mortality. As a consequence, a growing cohort of children and adolescents who survive a stay in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) do so with varying degrees of special healthcare needs and technology dependence.
They need a medical home and require complex medical care often coupled with frequent ICU readmissions and pose new challenges to caregivers, providers, health care systems and society. Pediatric intensive care providers are tasked with providing skilled quality care to critically ill children with empathy, compassion, professionalism and resilience but are also obliged to transition them from hospital to nurturing home care.
Global collaboration and information sharing has improved greatly but accessibility still is not uniform across the Americas and profound disparities still exist with regard to resources, organization, and continuing education. The Pediatric Critical Care Summit of the Americas represented international cooperation targeted toward these challenges in global Pediatric Critical Care.