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Development and Validation of a Model for Endotracheal Intubation and Mechanical Ventilation Prediction in PICU Patients.

OBJECTIVES: To develop and externally validate an intubation prediction model for children admitted to a PICU using objective and routinely available data from the electronic medical records (EMRs).

DESIGN: Retrospective observational cohort study.

SETTING: Two PICUs within the same healthcare system: an academic, quaternary care center (36 beds) and a community, tertiary care center (56 beds).

PATIENTS: Children younger than 18 years old admitted to a PICU between 2010 and 2022.

INTERVENTIONS: None.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Clinical data was extracted from the EMR. PICU stays with at least one mechanical ventilation event (≥ 24 hr) occurring within a window of 1-7 days after hospital admission were included in the study. Of 13,208 PICU stays in the derivation PICU cohort, 1,175 (8.90%) had an intubation event. In the validation cohort, there were 1,165 of 17,841 stays (6.53%) with an intubation event. We trained a Categorical Boosting (CatBoost) model using vital signs, laboratory tests, demographic data, medications, organ dysfunction scores, and other patient characteristics to predict the need of intubation and mechanical ventilation using a 24-hour window of data within their hospital stay. We compared the CatBoost model to an extreme gradient boost, random forest, and a logistic regression model. The area under the receiving operating characteristic curve for the derivation cohort and the validation cohort was 0.88 (95% CI, 0.88-0.89) and 0.92 (95% CI, 0.91-0.92), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: We developed and externally validated an interpretable machine learning prediction model that improves on conventional clinical criteria to predict the need for intubation in children hospitalized in a PICU using information readily available in the EMR. Implementation of our model may help clinicians optimize the timing of endotracheal intubation and better allocate respiratory and nursing staff to care for mechanically ventilated children.

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