OBJECTIVES To study the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, considering the physical distancing and schools closing, on the characteristics of admission and epidemiology on Brazilian PICUs .
DESIGN Observational, multicenter, time series analysis, of electronic medical records from 15 PICU in Brazil . Data consisted of all March, April, and May PICU admissions from 2017 to 2020 .
SETTING Fifteen private PICUs in Brazil. PATIENTS Pediatric patients admitted to the PICU from March to May since 2017 .
INTERVENTIONS None .
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS The period from March 11 , 2020, to March 17 , 2020, was considered the``intervention point"studied, corresponding to the suspension of school activities and the beginning of physical distancing in Brazil . During the pandemic period studied, there were 28 cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (one death). The mean age was higher (p = 0.000), the length of stay was shorter (p = 0.000), but mortality rates were similar among the periods (p = 0.36). The model estimated a reduction of 1,483 PICU admissions from March 2020 to May 2020 . At the end of May, there was an estimated drop of -146.6 bronchiolitis admissions (95% CI, -242.8 to -50.3; p = 0.016); -71 asthma admissions (95% CI, -93.6 to -48.63; p = 0.000); and -59 community-acquired pneumonia admissions (95% CI, -74.7 to -43.3; p = 0.000) per period . The model showed no effect of the``intervention"( physical distancing) on hospitalization rates for epilepsy, diarrhea, sepsis, bacterial meningitis, or surgery when analyzed individually . When assessed together, the model estimated a reduction of 73.6 admissions (95% IC, -132 to -15.2; p = 0.43).
CONCLUSIONS The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic strongly affected Brazilian PICUs, reducing admissions, length of stay, and the epidemiological profile . The measures to oppose the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic may have prevented thousands of PICU hospitalizations across the country.