To describe the subsequent course of children who are admitted to an ICU for asthma.

All children with asthma aged 2–18 years admitted to the ICU at the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne between 1990 and 2004.

Data were collected by reviewing medical records and through telephone interviews.

A total of 410 children were identified, with a mean duration of follow-up of 10.3 ± 4.6 years. Twelve patients (1.8%) subsequently died of asthma (5% of those who required ventilation at their index admission). Risk factors for mortality were multiple ICU admissions (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 5.0; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.3–19) and mechanical ventilation (aOR: 4.5; 95% CI: 1.3–15.7). Sixty-seven percent of patients were readmitted to the hospital for asthma at least once, with 17% readmitted to the ICU. Risk factors for ICU readmission were admission for asthma in the preceding year (aOR: 4.7; 95% CI: 2.4–9.3) and mechanical ventilation (aOR:...

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