Neurocritical care focuses on the care of critically ill patients with an acute neurologic disorder and has grown significantly in the past few years. However, there is a lack of data that describe the scope of practice of neurointensivists and epidemiological data on the types of patients and treatments used in neurocritical care units worldwide. To address these issues, we designed a multicenter, international, point-prevalence, cross-sectional, prospective, observational, non-interventional study in the setting of neurocritical care (PRINCE Study).
In this manuscript, we analyzed data from the initial phase of the study that included registration, hospital, and intensive care unit (ICU) organizations. We present here descriptive statistics to summarize data from the registration case report form. We performed the Kruskal–Wallis test followed by the Dunn procedure to test for differences in practices among world regions.
We analyzed information submitted by 257 participating sites from 47 countries. The majority of those sites, 119 (46.3%), were in North America, 44 (17.2%) in Europe, 34 (13.3%) in Asia, 9 (3.5%) in the Middle East, 34 (13.3%) in Latin America, and 14 (5.5%) in Oceania. Most ICUs are from academic institutions (73.4%) located in large urban centers (44% > 1 million inhabitants). We found significant differences in hospital and ICU organization, resource allocation, and use of patient management protocols. The highest nursing/patient ratio was in Oceania (100% 1:1). Dedicated Advanced Practiced Providers are mostly present in North America (73.7%) and are uncommon in Oceania (7.7%) and the Middle East (0%). The presence of dedicated respiratory therapist is common in North America (85%), Middle East (85%), and Latin America (84%) but less common in Europe (26%) and Oceania (7.7%). The presence of dedicated pharmacist is highest in North America (89%) and Oceania (85%) and least common in Latin America (38%). The majority of respondents reported having a dedicated neuro-ICU (67% overall; highest in North America: 82%; and lowest in Oceania: 14%).
The PRINCE Study results suggest that there is significant variability in the delivery of neurocritical care. The study also shows it is feasible to undertake international collaborations to gather global data about the practice of neurocritical care.
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We thank the following individuals for their great support and help with the PRINCE Study: Amanda Simons from the BCM IT Department for her help setting up the electronic database; Kimberly Weiderhold from the BCM legal department for assisting with Data Use Agreements; Jean Louis Vincent from the Free University of Brussels for providing us with copies of CRFs from the ICON Study; Ian Seppelt from the University of Sydney for helping us with the ANZICS-CTG sites; Katja Wartenberg from Martin Luther University, Germany, for facilitating interactions with IGNITE and MENA.
Conflict of interest
Dr Suarez reports being President of the Neurocritical Care Society, a member of the Editorial Board of Stroke Journal, and Chair of the DSMB for the INTREPID Study sponsored by BARD, outside of the submitted work. Dr LeRoux has nothing to disclose. Dr Bauza has nothing to disclose. Dr Sung has nothing to disclose. Dr Hemphill has nothing to disclose. Dr Oddo has nothing to disclose. Dr Martin has nothing to disclose. Dr Taccone has nothing to disclose. Dr Georgiadis has nothing to disclose. Dr Venkatasubba Rao has nothing to disclose. Ms Calvillo has nothing to disclose.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
See complete listing of the PRINCE Study Investigators in Appendix A (Supplementary material).
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Suarez, J.I., Martin, R.H., Bauza, C. et al. Worldwide Organization of Neurocritical Care: Results from the PRINCE Study Part 1. Neurocrit Care 32, 172–179 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12028-019-00750-3
- Neurocritical care
- Observational study
- Critical care