Objective: To describe the patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) in the Netherlands between 1997-2001 and the treatment outcome.
Method: For the years 1997-2001, prospective admission and discharge data as well as all data necessary for calculating prospective severity of illness scores (e.g. APACHE II and SAPS II) were collected for all patients that were admitted to 18 ICUs participating in the Dutch National Intensive Care Evaluation (NICE). Outcome measures were ICU mortality and hospital mortality, length of hospital and ICU admission, and standardised mortality ratio (SMR).
Results: Data from 55,016 admissions were registered. The median APACHE II score was 15 (P25-P75: 10-20) and the median SAPS II score was 29 (19-43). The median ICU length of admission for individual ICUs varied between 0.86 and 2.76 days. The occupied ICU capacity of individual ICUs varied between 220 and 1260 days per 100 patients admitted for non-cardiosurgical patients and between 110 and 330 days per 100 patients admitted for cardiosurgical patients. The ICU mortality and hospital mortality were 9.0% and 12.9% respectively. The mean SMR according to APACHE II was 0.95 (95% CI: 0.93-0.98). The SMR of the individual participating hospitals varied between 0.55 (95% CI: 0.37-0.80) and 1.20 (1.13-1.28).
Conclusion: Hospital mortality for ICU-admitted patients in the NICE registration was 12.9%. For patients who could be evaluated with the APACHE II model, actual hospital mortality was lower than predicted by this model. Significant differences in length of admission, hospital mortality and SMR were found between individual hospitals.