Rehabilitating the critically ill child: A focus on modifiable factors in paediatric intensive care


Outcomes following the intensive care management of critically ill children have improved dramatically over the past few decades. Advances in the provision of intensive care has led to increased rates of survival, but for some children who experience critical illness there are lasting consequences. These include physical, cognitive, social, educational and psychological domains.

Many observational studies describe the short, medium and long-term outcomes of intensive care survivors. This has led intensive care clinicians to consider ways of minimising morbidity associated with illness and therapies.

Rehabilitation in intensive care must address pain and sedation management, recognition and management of delirium and facilitate early mobilisation; all of which are important for improving outcomes.

In this Grand Round we outline the consequences of critical illness and what can be done in intensive care to improve recovery and outcomes.



Dr Ben Gelbart is a paediatric intensive care consultant, PhD candidate interested in the quality improvement of pain and sedation management in intensive care.

Hanna Holschier is an intensive care pharmacist undertaking a Masters in Clinical Pharmacy in pain and sedation in the general paediatric and intensive care populations.

Lauren Nichols is a paediatric intensive care nurse undertaking a Master of Advanced Nursing Practice on delirium at the University of Melbourne.

Lisa Robson is a physiotherapist for the intensive care and neurodevelopment and disability unit and has completed a Masters of Advanced Healthcare Practice



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