Intensive care unit survivors have fewer hospital readmissions and readmission days than other hospitalized patients in British Columbia

Sean P Keenan, Peter Dodek, Keith Chan, Mathieu Simon, Robert S Hogg, Aslam H Anis, John J Spinelli, Jessica Tilley, Monica Norena, Hubert Wong
Critical Care Medicine 2004, 32 (2): 391-8

OBJECTIVE: Intensive care unit (ICU) patients who survive their hospital admission have a long-term survival that is similar to that of hospitalized patients who do not require ICU admission. The risk of future readmission to the hospital for these two patient groups is unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the association between ICU admission and number of readmissions to the hospital and number of readmission days.

DESIGN: Cohort study for 3 yrs between 1994 and 1997.

SETTING: All acute care hospitals in British Columbia, Canada.

PATIENTS: A total of 23,859 patients admitted to the ICU and 40,052 patients admitted to the hospital but not the ICU (5% random sample of total).


MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: We measured the number of readmissions to the hospital and the number of readmission days after discharge from the first admission to the hospital during the study period. For survivors to the end of the study period, patients who had been in the ICU had 0.66 readmissions per year and 5.29 readmission days per year compared with 0.73 readmissions per year and 5.48 readmission days per year for control subjects. After controlling for age, sex, socioeconomic status, number of previous ICU and hospital admissions, major clinical category during index admission, comorbidity score during index admission, length of hospital stay during index admission, size of index hospital, and period of follow-up, ICU admission was associated with fewer readmissions (survivors: rate ratio, 0.80; 95% confidence interval, 0.77-0.82; nonsurvivors: rate ratio, 0.85; 95%, confidence interval, 0.82-0.89) and readmission days (survivors: rate ratio, 0.91; 95% confidence interval, 0.87-0.95; nonsurvivors: rate ratio, 0.87; 95%, confidence interval, 0.81-0.92) than admission to the hospital but not the ICU.

CONCLUSIONS: Survivors of a hospital stay that includes admission to an ICU have fewer hospital readmissions and readmission days after their discharge than do survivors of a hospital stay without intensive care.

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