Public Release: 

Study: Significant nonmedical financial burden for families after child admitted to ICU

American College of Chest Physicians

MONTRÉAL (October 19, 2015)- Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston found that families with children admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) incurred significant nonmedical, out-of-pocket expenses and demonstrated work absenteeism and inability to perform daily activities, with lowest income brackets bearing the highest burden.

In the single-center study of parents of children admitted to the PICU for 2 or more days, researchers found work absenteeism across all families was 78 days, with high levels of distraction noted in those who did work due to the emotional stress of having a child in the PICU in addition to financial stressors. The mean out-of-pocket expense was $127, which varied among families regardless of length of stay or income level reported.

"The study found several strategies families used to reduce these nonmedical out-of-pocket expenses, including skipping meals, keeping a car at the hospital to use as a storage place for food and clothing, and choosing to sleep at the hospital with a child to avoid additional costs of food and travel," said Natan Noviski MD, Chief of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. "The study revealed a significant opportunity for PICU staff and hospitals to reduce the burden of nonmedical out of pocket expenses to aid families in these difficult situations."


Further results will be shared on Tuesday, October 27, at 11:00 AM in at Palais des congrès de Montréal, in room 524c. The study abstract can be viewed on the journal CHEST website.

CHEST Annual Meeting 2015 is the 81st annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), held October 24-28, 2015, in Montréal. CHEST, publisher of the journal CHEST, is the global leader in advancing best patient outcomes through innovative chest medicine education, clinical research, and team-based care. Its mission is to champion the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chest diseases through education, communication, and research. It serves as an essential connection to clinical knowledge and resources for its 18,700 members from around the world who provide patient care in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. For information about the CHEST, visit, or follow the CHEST meeting hashtag, #CHEST2015, on social media.

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