Which Patients Are More Likely to Be Readmitted to the Surgical ICU?

December 12, 2012 | Risk Management News

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A study, published in the November 2012 issue of the American Journal of Critical Care, looking at the types of patients readmitted to the surgical intensive care unit (ICU) of a Dutch hospital found that these patients tended to be older, have vascular or gastrointestinal disease, have a significantly higher initial severity of illness, and have significantly more comorbidities than their counterparts. The authors reviewed surgical ICU patients admitted between 1995 and 2000, with the following patients excluded: those under age 18, those readmitted more than 30 days after their first ICU discharge day, and those undergoing gynecological and nontrauma neurosurgery. Of the 1,682 patients who were in the surgical ICU, 141 were readmitted (8%). Patients readmitted were grouped into three categories: (1) low-risk monitoring, (2) high-risk monitoring (patients in stable condition with high-risk complications and the need for extended care), and (3) active treatment (patients with unstable conditions and the need for continuous medical intervention). Readmitted patients needed more intensive care when initially readmitted compared with those who were not readmitted.

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