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Jornal de Pediatria

On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


SOUZA, Daniela C. de et al. Availability of pediatric and neonatal intensive care units in the city of São Paulo. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2004, vol.80, n.6, pp. 453-460. ISSN 1678-4782.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the health care service provided in pediatric intensive care units in the city of São Paulo, by identifying and describing the units and analyzing their geographic distribution. METHODS: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out during a two-year period (August 2000 to July 2002). Data were collected through questionnaires answered by medical directors of each pediatric and neonatal intensive care unit. RESULTS: São Paulo is served by 107 pediatric and neonatal intensive care units, of which 85 (79.4%) completed and returned the questionnaire. We found a very unequal distribution of units as there were more units in places with the least pediatric population. Regarding to pediatric intensive care units specialization, 7% were pediatric, 41.2% were neonatal and 51.7% were mixed (pediatric and neonatal). Regarding hospital funds, 15.3% were associated with philanthropic institutions, 37.6% were private and 47% were public. A total of 1,067 beds were identified, of which 969 were active. The ratio bed/patient aged 0-14 was 1/2,728, varying from 1/604 at health districts - I to 1/6,812 at health districts - III. The units reported an average of 11.7 beds (2 to 60). The neonatal intensive care unit had a median of 16.9 beds per unit and pediatric intensive care units a median of 8.5 beds/unit. CONCLUSION: In São Paulo, we found an uneven distribution of pediatric and neonatal intensive care units among the health districts. There was also an uneven distribution between public and private units, and neonatal and pediatric ones. The current report is the first step in the effort to improve the quality of medical assistance in pediatric and neonatal intensive care units in São Paulo.

Keywords : Evaluation; services structure; pediatric intensive care unit; neonatal intensive care unit; questionnaires.

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