Objective: To determine relationship between blood lactate level and mortality rate in children admitted to the intensive care unit.
Methods: 298 critically ill patients aged between 28 days and 16 years admitted to Dicle University Hospital, the third step Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in between January 2007 and December 2007 were included. Age, sex, diagnosis, Glasgow coma score points, the first measured blood lactate levels (lactate 1) and the arithmetic average of all measured blood lactate levels during treatment (lactate 2) of cases were evaluated. Patients were divided into group A (lactate < 20 mg/dl) and B (lactate ≥ 20 mg/dl). According to the results, patients were classified as survivors and non-survivors. Both lactate 1 and lactate 2 were compared with mortality rates.
Results: In this study, a total of 298 patients were evaluated, 158 of them were nonsurvivors and 140 were survivors. A significant correlation was found between lactate levels and mortality rates. Lactate levels were higher in non-survivor cases (p<0.001). In group B, lactate 1 had 68% (106/156) sensitivity and 75% (106/142) specificity for determining the risk of mortality. Also in group B, lactate 2 had 85% (134/158) sensitivity and 79% (134/169) specificity for determining the risk of mortality.
Conclusion: There is a strong association between high blood lactate levels and mortality rates in the critically ill patients in pediatric intensive care unit. In these patients blood lactate levels can be used for follow-up and evaluation of the effectiveness of treatment and determining mortality.
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