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Many children admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care for management of serious illness recover quickly. This is reflected in a mean length of stay is <5 days for many tertiary level critical care units. A small proportion of infants and children require a prolonged paediatric intensive care stay, due to the severity of their illness, complexity of medical and nursing care required, and presence of underlying co-morbidity. This cohort of patients have particular needs when being discharged to ward level care, and onwards to home. This paper reviews the complex care that patients may require in the first days and weeks following discharge from paediatric intensive care. Supported by available published literature, the authors outline the key relevant themes, and make recommendations on how transition to the ward may be facilitated.
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