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Intensive Care Med. 2012 Sep;38(9):1505-13. doi: 10.1007/s00134-012-2594-0. Epub 2012 May 17.

Early intervention on the outcomes in critically ill cancer patients admitted to intensive care units.

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Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 81 Irwon-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, 135-710, Republic of Korea.



To determine whether earlier intervention was associated with decreased mortality in critically ill cancer patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU).


A retrospective observational study was performed of 199 critically ill cancer patients admitted to the ICU from the general ward between January 2010 and December 2010. A logistic regression model was used to adjust for potential confounding factors in the association between time to intervention and in-hospital mortality.


In-hospital mortality was 52 %, with a median Simplified Acute Physiology Score 3 (SAPS 3) of 80 [interquartile range (IQR) 67-93], and a median Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score of 8 (IQR 5-11). Median time from physiological derangement to intervention (time to intervention) prior to ICU admission was 1.5 (IQR 0.6-4.3) h. Median time to intervention was significantly shorter in survivors than in non-survivors (0.9 vs. 3.0 h; p < 0.001). Additionally, the mortality rates increased significantly with increasing quartiles of time to intervention (p < 0.001, test for trend). Other factors associated with in-hospital mortality were severity of illness, performance status, hematologic malignancy, stem-cell transplantation, presence of three or more abnormal physiological variables, time from derangement to ICU admission, presence of infection, need for mechanical ventilation and vasopressor, and low PaO(2)/FiO(2) ratio. Even after adjusting for potential confounding factors, time to intervention was still significantly associated with hospital mortality (adjusted odds ratio 1.445, 95 % confidence interval 1.217-1.717).


Early intervention before ICU admission was independently associated with decreased in-hospital mortality in critically ill cancer patients admitted to the ICU.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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