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Ann Thorac Surg. 2002 May;73(5):1472-8.

Long-term survival and quality of life in cardiac surgical patients with prolonged intensive care unit length of stay.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery and Anesthesiology, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York, USA. mw365@columbia.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Patients with prolonged intensive care unit (ICU) stays after cardiac operations are labor intensive and expensive. We sought to determine whether exhaustive ICU efforts result in survival or quality-of-life benefits and whether outcome could be predicted.

METHODS:

We retrospectively analyzed all adult cardiac surgical patients in 1998 for ICU stays more than 14 days. Data were analyzed to create multiple organ dysfunction scores (MODS, range 0 to 24) and hospital charges. Follow-up was conducted 1 and 2 years apart for survival and quality-of-life evaluation.

RESULTS:

Forty-nine patients remained in the ICU more than 14 days, comprising 3.8% of our patients but 28% of total ICU bed time. This population had a 28.5% hospital mortality, which was greater than those in the ICU less than 14 days (5.3%, p < 0.05). By 2 years, 22 of the 35 discharged patients were alive, 16 of whom had a normal quality of life. Patients alive at 2 years had lower MODS at day 14 than those who died (2.6 +/- 1.4 versus 5.5 +/- 3.8; p < 0.005) as well as lower hospital costs ($223,000 +/- $128,000 versus $306,000 +/- $128,000; p < 0.05). No patient with an MODS of at least 6 at day 14 survived.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients remaining in the ICU for more than 14 days suffer a higher mortality at greater expense. A MODS at day 14 may help predict those who will not enjoy long-term survival and thus aid in the decision to terminate care.

PMID:
12022535
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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