Journal Articles

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Frontiers in Pediatrics


BACKGROUND: Acute respiratory failure is a life-threatening medical condition, associated with a variety of conditions and risk factors, including acute respiratory diseases which are a frequent cause of pediatric morbidity and mortality worldwide. In Colombia, the literature related to ARF is scarce.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the incidence, causes, and sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of ARF in three hospitals in Bogota, a high-altitude city located in Colombia, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

METHODS: A multicenter prospective cohort study called the FARA cohort was developed between April 2020 - December 2021. Patients older than one month and younger than 18 years with respiratory distress who developed ARF were included.

RESULTS: 685 patients with respiratory distress were recruited in 21 months. The incidence density of ARF was found to be 41.7 cases per 100 person-year CI 95%, (37.3-47.7). The median age was 4.5 years.. Most of the patients consulted during the first 72 h after the onset of symptoms. Upon admission, 67.2% were potentially unstable. The most frequent pathologies were asthma, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, and sepsis. At admission, 75.6% of the patients required different oxygen delivery systems, 29,5% a low-flow oxygen system, 36,8% a high-flow oxygen system, and 9,28% invasive mechanical ventilation.

CONCLUSIONS: This multicenter study, the FARA cohort, developed at 2,600 meters above sea level, shows the first data on incidence, etiology, sociodemographic and clinical characterization in a pediatric population with ARF that also concurs with the COVID-19 pandemic. These results, not only have implications for public health but also contribute to the scientific and epidemiological literature on a disease developed at a high altitude.


acute respiratory failure (ARF), high altitude, pediatric cohort study, pediatric critical care, multicenter study design



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