Children’s Awareness and Long-Term Quality of Life: A Mixed Methods Study of Pediatric Critical Care Unit (PICU) Experiences

The pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) commonly sees children who are undergoing a life threatening illness (critical illness). A life threatening illness can result in loss of consciousness. For instance, one reason for loss of consciousness may be brought on by the heart temporarily stopping (cardiac arrest). Some adults and children alike who have gained consciousness after experiencing a life threatening illness may report memories, experiences, and awareness during unconsciousness. These so called near death experiences, may include peaceful feelings, a perception of a tunnel and/or a light, seeing relatives, a life review, and positive emotions. However, studies that explore these types of memories and awareness during loss of consciousness at the time of life threatening illness are limited to adults. There are very few studies that explore this aspect of a life threatening illness among children. This study aims to determine the prevalence of memories, experiences, and awareness, and so called near death experiences, among children under the age of 18 who survived a life threatening illness which may have resulted in loss of consciousness.

Specifically, we are interested in learning more about your child’s memories, experiences, and awareness (i.e.; peaceful feelings, a perception of a tunnel and/or a light, seeing relatives, a life review, and positive emotions, etc.) during their time in pediatric critical care. More information is needed from children who have experienced a life threatening illness in order to better understand children’s memories and experiences during time of unconsciousness. Your contribution will help the research community develop a better understanding of children’s unique experiences during their time in the pediatric intensive care unit, which may lead to recommendations for improvement in the quality of care for this population.

Before we can enroll your child in the study, we need to determine your child’s eligibility. You will need to complete a few questions which should only take 5 minutes of your time. If your child is eligible to participate in this study, we will provide more information about the study and you will be able to continue onto the next section. Once you have completed the questionnaire and have been informed that your child is eligible for the study you will be asked to leave your contact information so that a research team member at New York University (NYU) Langone Health, University Hospital Southampton and other participating sites can reach out to you and schedule an interview. You are in no way obligated to complete the following screening questionnaire. If you choose not to complete the screening questionnaire no one will know. If you complete the screening questionnaire and wish to not be contacted by an NYU research staff member, simply do not enter your contact information at the completion of the questionnaire.

You can call NYU Langone Research Staff at with any questions about this study. If you have any questions regarding your rights as a research subject, please contact the New York University School of Medicine Institutional Review Board at (212)263-4110.

If you received information regarding this study from a participating site in the United Kingdom please check the respective box below to receive the appropriate contact information that you may refer to with any questions you may have.

If you are interested in completing the screening questionnaire for this study please proceed to the next section.

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