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Direct Discharge from the Critical Care Resuscitation Unit: Results from a Longitudinal Assessment.

BACKGROUND: The critical care resuscitation unit (CCRU) facilitates interhospital transfer (IHT) of critically ill patients for immediate interventions. Due to these patients' acuity, it is uncommon for patients to be directly discharged home from this unit, but it does happen on occasion. Since there is no literature regarding outcomes of patients being discharged from a resuscitation unit, our study investigated these patients' outcome at greater than 12 months after being discharged directly from the CCRU.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study of all adult patients directly discharged from the CCRU between January 01, 2017, and December 31, 2020. The primary outcome was number of ED visits or hospitalizations within 6 months. Secondary outcomes were number of ED visits or hospitalizations within 6, 12, and >12 months from CCRU discharge.

RESULTS: We analyzed 145 patients' records. Mean age was 56 (standard deviation [SD] ± 19), with a majority being male (72%) and Caucasian (58%). The most common discharge destination was home (139 patients, 96% of total subjects) versus hospice (2%) or nursing facilities (2%). Most patients (55%) did not have any hospital revisits within the first 6 months of discharge, while 31% had 1-2 revisits, and 14% had ≥3 revisits. The most common discharge diagnoses were soft tissue infection (16.5%), aortic dissection (14%), and stroke (11%). Factors which were associated with a greater likelihood of any return hospital visit within 6 months receiving mechanical ventilation during CCRU stay (coefficient -2.23, 95% CI 0.01-0.87, P =0.036), while high hemoglobin on CCRU discharge was associated with no ED revisit (coeff. 0.42, 95% CI 1.15-2.06, P =0.004).

CONCLUSIONS: Most patients who were discharged from the CCRU did not require any hospital revisits in the first 6 months. Requiring mechanical ventilation and having soft tissue infection were associated with high unplanned hospital revisits following discharge. Further research is needed to validate these findings.

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