June 2, 2005
Greater Risk of Death for Cardiac Surgery Patients with Long ICU Stay
A recent study determined that patients who underwent recent cardiac surgical procedures and had prolonged stay in the intensive care unit had lower survival rates and lower quality of life.
Dr. Vinayak Bapat atSt. Thomas' Hospital, London and his team looked at a study group of 89 patients who had undergone various cardiac procedures and survived the following 30 days, and a control group with similar parameters but who were discharged from the ICU within 48 hours postoperatively. They discovered that of the 89 patients, those with a mean ICU stay of 11 days survived longer than one year after surgery. Those who stayed in the ICU an average of 16 days died within one year of surgery, representing a 33% mortality rate.
Quality of life of the surviving patients was studied using eight parameters of the SF36 Scales including physical function, vitality, general health and pain. Factors that contributed to a lower quality of life were noted more in the study group, i.e. longer ICU stay.
More research is needed of the preoperative health of candidates undergoing certain cardiac procedures. Those with poor organ function before surgery will require longer ICU stay and puts them at greater risk of death after surgery.
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