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Crit Care. 2018 Apr 17;22(1):97. doi: 10.1186/s13054-018-2027-8.

Association between afterhours admission to the intensive care unit, strained capacity, and mortality: a retrospective cohort study.

Author information

1
Department of Critical Care Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services, 2-124E Clinical Sciences Building, 8440-112 ST NW, Edmonton, T6G 2B7, Canada.
2
Department of Critical Care Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services, Calgary, Canada.
3
Critical Care Strategic Clinical Network, Alberta Health Services, Edmonton, Canada.
4
Research Facilitation, Research Analytics (DIMR), Alberta Health Services, Edmonton, Canada.
5
Division of Critical Care Medicine and Center for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences, St. Paul's Hospital and University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
6
Section of Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.
7
Department of Critical Care Medicine, University of Toronto and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada.
8
Department of Critical Care Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services, 2-124E Clinical Sciences Building, 8440-112 ST NW, Edmonton, T6G 2B7, Canada. bagshaw@ualberta.ca.
9
Critical Care Strategic Clinical Network, Alberta Health Services, Edmonton, Canada. bagshaw@ualberta.ca.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) outside daytime hours has been shown to be variably associated with increased morbidity and mortality. We aimed to describe the characteristics and outcomes of patients admitted to the ICU afterhours (22:00-06:59 h) in a large Canadian health region. We further hypothesized that the association between afterhours admission and mortality would be modified by indicators of strained ICU capacity.

METHODS:

This is a population-based cohort study of 12,265 adults admitted to nine ICUs in Alberta from June 2012 to December 2014. We used a path-analysis modeling strategy and mixed-effects multivariate regression analysis to evaluate direct and integrated associations (mediated through Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score) between afterhours admission (22:00-06:59 h) and ICU mortality. Further analysis examined the effects of strained ICU capacity and varied definitions of afterhours and weekend admissions. ICU occupancy ≥ 90% or clustering of admissions (≥ 0.15, defined as number of admissions 2 h before or after the index admission, divided by the number of ICU beds) were used as indicators of strained capacity.

RESULTS:

Of 12,265 admissions, 34.7% (n = 4251) occurred afterhours. The proportion of afterhours admissions varied amongst ICUs (range 26.7-37.8%). Patients admitted afterhours were younger (median (IQR) 58 (44-70) vs 60 (47-70) years, p < 0.0001), more likely to have a medical diagnosis (75.9% vs 72.1%, p < 0.0001), and had higher APACHE II scores (20.9 (8.6) vs 19.9 (8.3), p < 0.0001). Crude ICU mortality was greater for those admitted afterhours (15.9% vs 14.1%, p = 0.007), but following multivariate adjustment there was no direct or integrated effect on ICU mortality (odds ratio (OR) 1.024; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.923-1.135, p = 0.658). Furthermore, direct and integrated analysis showed no association of afterhours admission and hospital mortality (p = 0.90) or hospital length of stay (LOS) (p = 0.27), although ICU LOS was shorter (p = 0.049). Early-morning admission (00:00-06:59 h) with ICU occupancy ≥ 90% was associated with short-term (≤ 7 days) and all-cause ICU mortality.

CONCLUSIONS:

One-third of critically ill patients are admitted to the ICU afterhours. Afterhours ICU admission was not associated with greater mortality risk in most circumstances but was sensitive to strained ICU capacity.

KEYWORDS:

APACHE II score; Afterhours admission; ICU mortality; Intensive care unit

PMID:
29665826
PMCID:
PMC5905119
DOI:
10.1186/s13054-018-2027-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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