J Pediatr Intensive Care 2017; 06(02): 077-082
DOI: 10.1055/s-0036-1584680
Review Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Considerations in Caring for Adult Patients in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Jennifer Susan Needle
1   Division of Critical Care, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Ashley Bjorklund
1   Division of Critical Care, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Sameer Gupta
1   Division of Critical Care, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

03 September 2015

11 December 2015

Publication Date:
24 June 2016 (online)


Pediatric providers are caring for a growing number of adults in pediatric in-patient settings due to the increasing survival of patients with historically pediatric disease. Beyond understanding the unique medical management of these patients, adult-specific ethical and legal issues must be considered. The aim of this article is to discuss four major issues unique to caring for adult patients: advance directives, confidentiality, decision-making capacity, and palliative care. To our knowledge, no literature exists focusing on the consideration of these specific concepts for the pediatric provider. An understanding of these issues in caring for adult patients in pediatric settings will enable pediatric practitioners to better consider patient autonomy, protect patient privacy, and ensure appropriate decision-making in critically ill patients.


There is no source of funding or support for the submitted work. The submitted work has not been presented previously.

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