J Pediatr Intensive Care 2017; 06(01): 006-011
DOI: 10.1055/s-0036-1584672
Review article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

The Assessment, Evaluation, and Management of the Critically Ill Child When Resources are Limited—Southeast Asian Perspective

Swee Fong Tang
1  Department of Paediatrics, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Lucy Lum
2  Department of Paediatrics, Universiti Malaya Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

15 June 2015

16 February 2016

Publication Date:
20 June 2016 (eFirst)


The Southeast Asia region comprises 10 independent countries with highly divergent health systems and health status. The heterogeneity in infant and child mortality rates suggests that there is still scope for improvement in the care of critically ill children. There is, however, a paucity of published data on outcomes and processes of care that could affect planning and implementation of intervention programs. Significant challenges in the delivery of care for the critically ill child remain, especially in pre-hospital and in-hospital triaging and emergency care and inpatient hospital care. Potential areas for continued improvement include strengthening of health systems through sustained commitment by local governments, capacity building, and sharing of research output. Simple, low cost, locally available, and effective solutions should be sought. The introduction of standards and auditing tools can assist in determining effectiveness and outcomes of intervention packages that are adapted to local settings. Recognition and acknowledgment of shortfalls between expectations and outcomes is a first step to overcoming some of these obstacles necessary to achieve a seamless interface among pre-hospital, emergency, inpatient, and critical care delivery processes that would improve survival of critically ill children in this region.