Outcomes for haematological cancer patients admitted to an intensive care unit in a university hospital

This article by Alp and colleagues was published in Australian critical care: official journal of the Confederation of Australian Critical Care Nurses; February 2018.
Background:  Haematological cancer (HC) patients are increasingly requiring intensive care (ICUs). The aim of this study was to investigate the outcome of HC patients in our ICU and evaluate 5 days-full support as a breakpoint for patients’ re-assessment for support.
Methods:  Retrospective study enrolling 112 consecutive HC adults, requiring ICU in January-December 2015. Patients’ data were collected from medical records and Infection Control Committee surveillance reports. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify independent risk factors for ICU mortality.
Results:  Sixty-one were neutropenic, and 99 (88%) had infection at ICU admission. Acute myeloid leukaemia was diagnosed in 43%. Thirty-five (31%) were hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. Only 17 (15%) were in remission. Eighty-nine underwent mechanical ventilation on admission. Fifty-three patients acquired ICU-infection (35 bacteremia) being gram negative bacteria (Klebsiella pneumoniae and non-fermenters) the top pathogens. However, ICU-acquired infection had no impact on mortality. The overall ICU and 1-year survival rate was 27% (30 patients) and 7% (8 patients), respectively. Moreover, only 2/62 patients survived with APACHE II score ≥25. The median time for death was 4 days. APACHE II score ≥25 [OR:35.20], septic shock [OR:8.71] and respiratory failure on admission [OR:10.55] were independent risk factors for mortality in multivariate analysis. APACHE II score ≥25 was a strong indicator for poor outcome (ROC under curve 0.889).
Conclusions:  APACHE II score ≥25 and septic shock were criteria of ICU futility. Our findings support the full support of patients for 5 days and the need to implement a therapeutic limitations protocol.
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