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Hartl, Wolfgang H.; Wolf, Hilde; Schneider, Christian P.; Kuechenhoff, Helmut; Jauch, Karl-Walter: Acute and long-term survival in chronically critically ill surgical patients: a retrospective observational study. In: Critical Care 2007, 11:R55




Introduction Various cohort studies have shown that acute ( short-term) mortality rates in unselected critically ill patients may have improved during the past 15 years. Whether these benefits also affect acute and long-term prognosis in chronically critically ill patients is unclear, as are determinants relevant to prognosis. Methods We conducted a retrospective analysis of data collected from March 1993 to February 2005. A cohort of 390 consecutive surgical patients requiring intensive care therapy for more than 28 days was analyzed. Results The intensive care unit ( ICU) survival rate was 53.6%. Survival rates at one, three and five years were 61.8%, 44.7% and 37.0% among ICU survivors. After adjustment for relevant covariates, acute and long-term survival rates did not differ significantly between 1993 to 1999 and 1999 to 2005 intervals. Acute prognosis was determined by disease severity during ICU stay and by primary diagnosis. However, only the latter was independently associated with long-term prognosis. Advanced age was an independent prognostic determinant of poor short-term and long-term survival. Conclusion Acute and long-term prognosis in chronically critically ill surgical patients has remained unchanged throughout the past 12 years. After successful surgical intervention and intensive care, long-term outcome is reasonably good and is mainly determined by age and underlying disease.