Study: Majority of critically ill children have low vitamin D blood levels

 OTTAWA, Canada — A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics determined that 3-out-of-4 critically ill children were found to have vitamin D blood levels below the target considered safe by many experts and medical societies. 

"This is the first study to report on vitamin D levels in a large group of critically ill children," stated Dayre McNally, lead researcher and a clinical researcher and intensivist at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

The study included more than 300 children and teenagers at six Canadian hospitals in Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Vancouver. These children were admitted to an Intensive Care Unit with severe infections, significant trauma or conditions requiring major surgery, such as congenital heart defects.

In addition to 3-out-of-4 having suboptimal vitamin D blood levels, those with lower vitamin D levels were noted to be sicker, requiring more life-sustaining therapies (e.g., breathing tubes, medications to support heart function) and staying in the ICU for longer periods of time.

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