Risk factors for unplanned transfer to intensive care within 24 hours of admission from the emergency department in an integrated healthcare system

Division of Emergency Medicine and the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California. .
Journal of Hospital Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.3). 01/2013; 8(1). DOI: 10.1002/jhm.1979
Source: PubMed


BACKGROUND: Emergency department (ED) ward admissions subsequently transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) within 24 hours have higher mortality than direct ICU admissions. DESIGN, SETTING, PATIENTS: Describe risk factors for unplanned ICU transfer within 24 hours of ward arrival from the ED. METHODS: Evaluation of 178,315 ED non-ICU admissions to 13 US community hospitals. We tabulated the outcome of unplanned ICU transfer by patient characteristics and hospital volume. We present factors associated with unplanned ICU transfer after adjusting for patient and hospital differences in a hierarchical logistic regression. RESULTS: There were 4252 (2.4%) non-ICU admissions transferred to the ICU within 24 hours. Admitting diagnoses most associated with unplanned transfer, listed by descending prevalence were: pneumonia (odds ratio [OR] 1.5; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2-1.9), myocardial infarction (MI) (OR 1.5; 95% CI 1.2-2.0), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (OR 1.4; 95% CI 1.1-1.9), sepsis (OR 2.5; 95% CI 1.9-3.3), and catastrophic conditions (OR 2.3; 95% CI 1.7-3.0). Other significant predictors included: male sex, Comorbidity Points Score >145, Laboratory Acute Physiology Score ≥7, arriving on the ward between 11 PM and 7 AM. Decreased risk was found with admission to monitored transitional care units (OR 0.83; 95% CI 0.77-0.90) and to higher volume hospitals (OR 0.94 per 1,000 additional annual ED inpatient admissions; 95% CI 0.91-0.98). CONCLUSIONS: ED patients admitted with respiratory conditions, MI, or sepsis are at modestly increased risk for unplanned ICU transfer and may benefit from better triage from the ED, earlier intervention, or closer monitoring to prevent acute decompensation. More research is needed to determine how intermediate care units, hospital volume, time of day, and sex affect unplanned ICU transfer. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2012; © 2012 Society of Hospital Medicine.

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    • "Many unplanned ICU transfers are due to sepsis. Delgado et al. found that respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, sepsis, and other acute infections are responsible for 26.9% of unplanned ICU transfers after ED admissions [4]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The objectives of this study were to compare the risk factors for unplanned intensive care unit (ICU) transfer after emergency department (ED) admission in patients with infections and those without infections and to explore the feasibility of using risk stratification tools for sepsis to derive a prediction system for such unplanned transfer. Methods: The ICU transfer group included 313 patients, while the control group included 736 patients randomly selected from those who were not transferred to the ICU. Candidate variables were analyzed for association with unplanned ICU transfer in the 1049 study patients. Results: Twenty-four variables were associated with unplanned ICU transfer. Sixteen (66.7%) of these variables displayed association in patients with infections and those without infections. These common risk factors included specific comorbidities, physiological responses, organ dysfunctions, and other serious symptoms and signs. Several common risk factors were statistically independent. Conclusions: The risk factors for unplanned ICU transfer in patients with infections were comparable to those in patients without infections. The risk factors for unplanned ICU transfer included variables from multiple dimensions that could be organized according to the PIRO (predisposition, insult/infection, physiological response, and organ dysfunction) model, providing the basis for the development of a predictive system.
    The Scientific World Journal 01/2014; 2014:102929. DOI:10.1155/2014/102929 · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Few data is available on triage of critically ill patients. Because the demand for ICU beds often exceeds their availability, frequently intensivists need to triage these patients in order to equally and efficiently distribute the available resources based on the concept of potential benefit and reasonable chance of recovery. The objective of this study is to evaluate factors influencing triage decisions among patients referred for ICU admission and to assess its impact in outcome. A single-center, prospective, observational study of 165 consecutive triage evaluations was conducted in patients referred for ICU admission that were either accepted, or refused and treated on the medical or surgical wards as well as the step-down and telemetry units. Seventy-one patients (43.0%) were accepted for ICU admission. Mean Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE)-II score was 15.3 (0 - 36) and 13.9 (0 - 30) for accepted and refused patients, respectively. Three patients (4.2%) had active advance directives on admission to ICU. Age, gender, and number of ICU beds available at the time of evaluation were not associated with triage decisions. Thirteen patients (18.3%) died in ICU, while the in-hospital mortality for refused patients was 12.8%. Refusal of admission to ICU is common, although patients in which ICU admission is granted have higher mortality. Presence of active advance directives seems to play an important role in the triage decision process. Further efforts are needed to define which patients are most likely to benefit from ICU admission. Triage protocols or guidelines to promote efficient critical care beds use are warranted.
    Journal of Clinical Medicine Research 10/2013; 5(5):343-9. DOI:10.4021/jocmr1501w
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