Need for critical care in gynaecology: a population-based analysis

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to note potential gynaecological risk factors leading to intensive care and to estimate the frequency, costs and outcome of management. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a cross-sectional study of intensive care admissions in Kuopio from March 1993 to December 2000, 23 consecutive gynaecological patients admitted to a mixed medical-surgical intensive care unit (ICU) were followed. We recorded demographics, admitting diagnoses, scores on the Acute Physiological and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II, clinical outcome and treatment costs. RESULTS: The overall need for intensive care was 2.3 per 1000 women undergoing major surgery during the study period. Patients were 55.4 ± 16.9 (mean ± SD) years old, with a mean APACHE II score of 14.07 (± 5.57). The most common diagnoses at admission were postoperative haemorrhage (43%), infection (39%) and cardiovascular disease (30%). The duration of stay in the ICU was 4.97 (± 9.28) (range 1–42) days and the mortality within 6 months was 26%, although the mortality in the ICU was 0%. The total cost of intensive care was approximately US$7044 per patient. CONCLUSIONS: Very few gynaecological patients develop complications requiring intensive care. The presence of gynaecological malignancy and pre-existing medical disorders are clinically useful predictors of eventual outcome, but many cases occur in women with a low risk and this implies that the risk is relevant to all procedures. Further research is needed to determine effective preventive approaches

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