Readmission to the Intensive Care Unit: Incidence, Risk Factors, Resource Use, and Outcomes. A Retrospective Cohort Study

This article in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society August 2017 issue was produced by Ponzoni et al.

Rationale:  Readmission to the intensive care unit (ICU) is associated with poor clinical outcomes, increased length of ICU and hospital stay, and higher costs. Nevertheless, knowledge of epidemiology of ICU readmissions, risk factors, and attributable outcomes is restricted to developed countries.

Objectives:  To determine the effect of ICU readmissions on in-hospital mortality, determine incidence of ICU readmissions, identify predictors of ICU readmissions and hospital mortality, and compare resource use and outcomes between readmitted and non-readmitted patients in a developing country.

Methods:  This retrospective single-centre cohort study was conducted in a 40-bed, open medical-surgical ICU of a private, tertiary care hospital in São Paulo, Brazil. The Local Ethics Committee at Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein approved the study protocol, and the need for informed consent was waived. All consecutive adult (≥18 yr) patients admitted to the ICU between June 1, 2013 and July 1, 2015 were enrolled in this study.

Results:  Comparisons were made between patients readmitted and not readmitted to the ICU. Logistic regression analyses were performed to identify predictors of ICU readmissions and hospital mortality. Out of 5,779 patients admitted to the ICU, 576 (10%) were readmitted to the ICU during the same hospitalization. Compared with non-readmitted patients, patients readmitted to the ICU were more often men (349 of 576 patients [60.6%] vs. 2,919 of 5,203 patients [56.1%]; P = 0.042), showed a higher (median [interquartile range]) severity of illness (Simplified Acute Physiology III score) at index ICU admission (50 [41-61] vs. 42 [32-54], respectively, for readmitted and non-readmitted patients; P < 0.001), and were more frequently admitted due to medical reasons (425 of 576 [73.8%] vs. 2,998 of 5,203 [57.6%], respectively, for readmitted and non-readmitted patients; P < 0.001). Simplified Acute Physiology III score (P < 0.001), ICU admission from the ward (odds ratio [OR], 1.907; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.463-2.487; P < 0.001), vasopressors need during index ICU stay (OR, 1.391; 95% CI, 1.130-1.713; P = 0.002), and length of ICU stay (P = 0.001) were independent predictors of ICU readmission. After adjusting for severity of illness, ICU readmission (OR, 4.103; 95% CI, 3.226-5.518; P < 0.001), admission source, presence of cancer, use of vasopressors, mechanical ventilation or renal replacement therapy, length of ICU stay, and night time ICU discharge were associated with increased risk of in-hospital death.

Conclusions:  Readmissions to the ICU were frequent and strongly related to poor outcomes. The degree to which ICU readmissions are preventable as well as the main causes of preventable ICU readmissions need to be further determined.

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Analysis of Unplanned Postoperative Admissions to the Intensive Care Unit

This article in Journal of Intensive Care Medicine August 2017 was written by Quinn and colleagues.

Purpose:  To investigate factors associated with unplanned postoperative admissions to the intensive care unit (ICU).

Methods:  Data from the National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry (NACOR) were analyzed. We performed univariate and multivariate logistic regression to identify patient- and surgery-specific characteristics associated with unplanned postoperative ICU admission. We also recorded the prevalence of Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and International Classification of Diseases, ninth revision (ICD-9) billing codes and outcomes for unplanned postoperative ICU admissions.

Results:  Of 23 341 130 records in the database, 2 910 738 records met our inclusion criteria. A higher American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status (ASA PS) class, case duration greater than 4 hours, and advanced age were associated with a greater likelihood of unplanned ICU admission. Vascular and thoracic surgery patients were more likely to have an unplanned ICU admission. The most common CPT and ICD-9 codes involved repair of femur/hip fracture, bowel resection, and acute postoperative pain. Large community hospitals were more likely than university hospitals to have unplanned postoperative ICU admissions. Patients in the unplanned postoperative ICU admission group were more likely to have experienced intraoperative cardiac arrest, hemodynamic instability, or respiratory failure and were more likely to die in the immediate perioperative period.

Conclusion:  Our study is the first diverse analysis of unplanned postoperative ICU admissions in the literature across multiple specialties and practice models. We found an association of advanced age, higher ASA PS class, and duration of procedure with unplanned ICU admission after surgery. Surgical specialties and procedures with the most unplanned ICU admissions could be areas for quality improvement and clinical pathways in the future.

The full paper can be accessed by subscribers to “Journal of Intensive Care Medicine” via this link.  Some articles may be available freely without a password.  Library members can order individual articles via the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust Library and Knowledge Service using the article requests online via this link.

An Ethnographic Study of Health Information Technology Use in Three Intensive Care Units

This article in the August 2017 issue of Health Services Research was written by Leslie and colleagues.

Objectives:  To identify the impact of a full suite of health information technology (HIT) on the relationships that support safety and quality among intensive care unit (ICU) clinicians.

Data Sources:  A year-long comparative ethnographic study of three academic ICUs was carried out. A total of 446 hours of observational data was collected in the form of field notes. A subset of these observations-134 hours-was devoted to job-shadowing individual clinicians and conducting a time study of their HIT usage.

Principal Findings:  Significant variation in HIT implementation rates and usage was noted. Average HIT use on the two “high-use” ICUs was 49 percent. On the “low-use” ICU, it was 10 percent. Clinicians on the high-use ICUs experienced “silo” effects with potential safety and quality implications. HIT work was associated with spatial, data, and social silos that separated ICU clinicians from one another and their patients. Situational awareness, communication, and patient satisfaction were negatively affected by this siloing.

Conclusions:  HIT has the potential to accentuate social and professional divisions as clinical communications shift from being in-person to electronically mediated. Socio-technically informed usability testing is recommended for those hospitals that have yet to implement HIT. For those hospitals already implementing HIT, we suggest rapid, locally driven qualitative assessments focused on developing solutions to identified gaps between HIT usage patterns and organizational quality goals.

The full paper can be accessed by subscribers to “Health Services Research” via this link.  Some articles may be available freely without a password.  Library members can order individual articles via the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust Library and Knowledge Service using the article requests online via this link.

Recent anti-seizure medications in the Intensive Care Unit

This article by Orinx and colleagues was published in Minerva Anesthesiologica in August 2017

Background:  Seizures and status epilepticus (SE), both clinical and subclinical, are frequent in critically ill patients. The list of available antiseizure medications (ASMs) is expanding and now includes older and widely used drugs as well as more recent medications with a better safety and pharmacokinetics profile.

Methods:  We review a selection of recent publications about the indications and administration of ASMs in critical care for the prophylaxis and treatment of seizures and SE, focusing on recent ASMs available as intravenous formulation and emphasizing pharmacokinetics and safety issues in relation to several aspects of critical illness.

Results:  Levetiracetam, lacosamide and more recently brivaracetam, represent interesting alternatives to older ASMs, mostly due to a more favorable safety and pharmacokinetic profile. Low-quality studies suggest that this profile results in better tolerability in treated patients. Ketamine might represent a useful addition in our anesthetic armamentarium for refractory SE, due to its different mechanism of action and cardiovascular properties. Little evidence is available however to support the prophylactic use of ASMs in critically ill patients, except in specific settings (traumatic brain injury and subarachnoid hemorrhage). Head-to-head studies comparing recent and older ASMs in the treatment of acute seizures and SE are ongoing or awaiting publication. Administration of ASMs to critically ill patients needs to be adapted to organ dysfunction, and especially to renal dysfunction for recent drugs.

Conclusions:  Recent ASMs and could represent better treatment choices in critically ill patients than older ones but this needs to be confirmed in randomized controlled studies. In general, further studies are required to clarify the indications and optimal use of ASMs in the critical care setting.

The full paper can be accessed by subscribers to “Minerva Anesthesiologica” via this link.  Some articles may be available freely without a password.  Library members can order individual articles via the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust Library and Knowledge Service using the article requests online via this link.

Effect of nocturnal sound reduction on the incidence of delirium in intensive care unit patients: An interrupted time series analysis

Introduction:  Delirium in critically-ill patients is a common multifactorial disorder that is associated with various negative outcomes. It is assumed that sleep disturbances can result in an increased risk of delirium. This study hypothesized that implementing a protocol that reduces overall nocturnal sound levels improves quality of sleep and reduces the incidence of delirium in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients.

Methods:  This interrupted time series study was performed in an adult mixed medical and surgical 24-bed ICU. A pre-intervention group of 211 patients was compared with a post-intervention group of 210 patients after implementation of a nocturnal sound-reduction protocol. Primary outcome measures were incidence of delirium, measured by the Intensive Care Delirium Screening Checklist (ICDSC) and quality of sleep, measured by the Richards-Campbell Sleep Questionnaire (RCSQ). Secondary outcome measures were use of sleep-inducing medication, delirium treatment medication, and patient-perceived nocturnal noise.

Results:  A significant difference in slope in the percentage of delirium was observed between the pre- and post-intervention periods (-3.7% per time period, p=0.02). Quality of sleep was unaffected (0.3 per time period, p=0.85). The post-intervention group used significantly less sleep-inducing medication (p<0.001). Nocturnal noise rating improved after intervention (median: 65, IQR: 50-80 versus 70, IQR: 60-80, p=0.02).

Conclusions:  The incidence of delirium in ICU patients was significantly reduced after implementation of a nocturnal sound-reduction protocol. However, reported sleep quality did not improve.

This article by Van de Pol and colleagues was published in Intensive & critical care nursing; August 2017.  Library members can order the full text of this and other articles via the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust Library and Knowledge Service website using the article requests online via this link.

Glycaemic variability in patients with severe sepsis or septic shock admitted to an Intensive Care Unit.

Background:  Sepsis is associated with morbidity and mortality, which implies high costs to the global health system. Metabolic alterations that increase glycaemia and glycaemic variability occur during sepsis.

Objective:  To verify mean body glucose levels and glycaemic variability in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients with severe sepsis or septic shock.

Method:  Retrospective and exploratory study that involved collection of patients’ sociodemographic and clinical data and calculation of severity scores. Glycaemia measurements helped to determine glycaemic variability through standard deviation and mean amplitude of glycaemic excursions.

Results:  Analysis of 116 medical charts and 6730 glycaemia measurements revealed that the majority of patients were male and aged over 60 years. Surgical treatment was the main reason for ICU admission. High blood pressure and diabetes mellitus were the most usual comorbidities. Patients that died during the ICU stay presented the highest SOFA scores and mean glycaemia; they also experienced more hypoglycaemia events. Patients with diabetes had higher mean glycaemia, evaluated through standard deviation and mean amplitude of glycaemia excursions.

Conclusion:  Organic impairment at ICU admission may underlie glycaemic variability and lead to a less favourable outcome. High glycaemic variability in patients with diabetes indicates that monitoring of these individuals is crucial to ensure better outcomes.

This article by Silveira and colleagues was published in Intensive & critical care nursing; August 2017.  Library members can order the full text of this and other articles via the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust Library and Knowledge Service website using the article requests online via this link.

Stress ulcer prophylaxis in the intensive care unit trial: detailed statistical analysis plan

Background:  In this statistical analysis plan, we aim to provide details of the pre-defined statistical analyses of the Stress Ulcer Prophylaxis in the Intensive Care Unit (SUP-ICU) trial. The aim of the SUP-ICU trial is to assess benefits and harms of stress ulcer prophylaxis with a proton pump inhibitor in adult patients in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Methods:  The SUP-ICU trial is an investigator-initiated, international, multicentre, randomised, blinded, parallel-group trial of intravenously pantoprazole 40 mg once daily vs. placebo in 3350 acutely ill adult ICU patients at risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. The primary outcome measure is 90-day mortality. Secondary outcomes include the proportion of patients with clinically important gastrointestinal bleeding, pneumonia, Clostridium difficile infection or myocardial ischaemia, days alive without life support, serious adverse reactions, 1-year mortality, and a health economic analysis. Two formal interim analyses will be performed. The statistical analyses will be conducted according to the outlined pre-defined statistical analysis plan. The primary analysis will be a logistic regression analysis adjusted for stratification variables comparing the two intervention groups in the intention-to-treat population. In a secondary analysis, we will additionally adjust the primary outcome for potential random differences in baseline characteristics. The conclusion will be based on the intention-to-treat population.

Conclusion:  Stress ulcer prophylaxis is standard of care in ICUs worldwide, but has never been tested in large high-quality randomised placebo-controlled trials. The SUP-ICU trial will provide important high-quality data on the balance between the benefits and harms of stress ulcer prophylaxis in adult critically ill patients.

This article by Krag and colleagues was published in Acta anaesthesiologica Scandinavica August 2017.  Library members can order the full text of this and other articles via the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust Library and Knowledge Service website using the article requests online via this link.