Pediatric Intensive Care (PIC) in Portugal are provided in a variety of Intensive Care Units (ICU). Some units provide care to both neonates and children, others care exclusively for children and others are adult ICUs that provide occasional care to children.
Units that care exclusively for children or children and neonates are either part of a Pediatric Hospital or a Pediatric Department in a general hospital. The third type of ICU is generally associated with Oncology or Cardiothoracic Hospitals or Departments.
Evaluation of main demographic characteristics of PICU population and of quality of delivered care is more difficult due to this variety of ICUs. Also, data collected by each PICU is different so global analysis of data on a nationwide and/or comparative (inter-PICU) basis is very difficult. This nationwide analysis would be fundamental to support re-organization of PICU network in Portugal.
Conscious of the importance of these nationwide analysis, a few years ago some institutions - Biostatistic and Medical Informatics (Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto) and Hospital D. Estefânia (Lisbon), Hospital Pediátrico de Coimbra and Hospital S. João (Porto) PICUs - launched a project to evaluate quality of delivered care and of the quality of life of PICU survivors. This effort was materialized in a project funded by "Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia" - Development and assessment of optimal risk scores for outcomes in pediatric intensive care - which is being conducted until February 2005 (http://daipcip.med.up.pt).
In October, 2002, at the annual meeting of the Section on Pediatric Intensive Care of the Portuguese Pediatric Society, a proposal to begin a nationwide and uniform collection of data concerning PIC was discussed. In February,2004, this idea has again emerged and efforts were developed to raise and support a national data collection. These efforts culminated in the present project named REUNIR (Recolha Uniformizada e Nacional de Informação Relevante em Cuidados Intensivos Pediátricos - National and Uniform Collection of Relevant Information in Pediatric Intensive Care, in Portugal). This project involves all of Portuguese PICUs (Hospital D. Estefânia (Lisboa), Hospital Distrital de Faro, Hospital Fernando Fonseca (Amadora-Sintra), Hospital Garcia da Orta (Almada), Hospital Central e Especializado de Crianças Maria Pia (Porto), Hospital Pediátrico de Coimbra, Hospital Geral de Santo António, SA (Porto), Hospital de São João (Porto) and Hospital Santa Maria (Lisboa).