Impact of delayed admission to intensive care units on patients with acute respiratory failure

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Background/Purpose To determine the impact of delayed admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) on the clinical outcomes of patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF) in the emergency department (ED). Methods This retrospective cohort study included non-traumatic adult patients with ARF and mechanical ventilation support in the ED of a tertiary university hospital in Taiwan from January 1, 2013, to August 31, 2013. Clinical data were extracted from chart records. The primary and secondary outcome measures were a prolonged hospital stay (>30 days) and the in-hospital crude mortality within 90 days, respectively. Results For 267 eligible patients (age range 21.0-98.0 years, mean 70.5 ± 15.1 years; male 184, 68.9%), multivariate analysis was used to determine the significant adverse effects of an ED stay >1.0 hour on in-hospital crude mortality (odds ratio 2.19, P < .05), which was thus defined as delayed ICU admission. In-hospital mortality significantly differed between patients with delayed ICU admission and those without delayed admission, as revealed by the Kaplan-Meier survival curves (P < .05). Moreover, a linear-by-linear correlation was observed between the length of ICU waiting time in the ED and the lengths of total hospital stay (r = 0.152, P < .05), ICU stay (r = 0.148, P < .05), and ventilator support (r = 0.222, P < .05). Conclusions For patients with ARF who required mechanical ventilation support and intensive care, a delayed ICU admission more than 1.0 hour is a strong determinant of mortality and is associated with a longer ICU stay and a longer need for ventilation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-44
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine

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