L'anémie chez les enfants survivants des soins intensifs: devrions-nous tolérer, ou prévenir et traiter ?


Geneviève Du Pont-Thibodeau

Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte Justine


Domaine : santé de la mère, des enfants et des adolescents

Programme Chercheurs-boursiers cliniciens - Junior 1

Concours 2019-2020

Anemia is a frequent complication in critically ill children admitted to pediatric intensive care units(PICUs). Physicians can prescribe a blood transfusion to rapidly correct anemia in these children. However, blood transfusions may carry significant risks in this vulnerable population. Recent research has shown that it is safe to tolerate some degree of anemia in the acute setting and therefore avoid blood transfusions.

Consequently, up to 50% of children that survive their critical illness are anemic. The long-term impact of this anemia in young developing children is unknown and there is a concern that anemia mainly iron-deficiency anemia may be associated with long term neurocognitive deficits in this population. The objective of the first part of this program is to determine the prevalence of anemia in PICU survivors at hospital discharge and up to 1 year after their illness as well as its potential impact on the neurocognitive function, physical endurance and quality of life of these children. Throughout this study, we will also perform blood tests on these children to determine the cause of their anemia and whether iron-deficiency may be contributory. Finally, we will perform a study in anemic patients in the PICU to try and determine the relationship between anemia and markers of brain health.

The second part of this program will focus on investigations strategies to diminish the incidence of anemia in PICU survivors by decreasing the amount of blood losses and blood testing in the PICU.
This program is the first step towards improving our understanding of the impact of anemia on the long-term well-being of PICU survivors. This will lead to the development of interventional strategies to avoid or treat anemia in this population and hopefully improve their outcome.