Causes of admission to intensive care units in the Hajj period of the Islamic year 1424 (2004)

Ann Saudi Med. 2007 Mar-Apr;27(2):101-5. doi: 10.5144/0256-4947.2007.101.


Background: Approximately 2 to 3 million pilgrims perform Hajj every year. We describe the pattern of diseases, complications, and outcome of pilgrims who required admission to intensive care units (ICUs) during the Hajj period of the Islamic year 1424 (2004).

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of all patients admitted to 104 ICU beds in four hospitals in Mena and three hospitals in Arafat during the Hajj.

Results: Of 140 patients admitted to ICUs, 75 (54%) patients were older than 60 years. The risk of complications and death increased with age, with the highest risk noticed among pilgrims older than 80 years. Ninety-four (67.6%) patients were men. Eighty-nine (63.6%) patients were admitted with cardiovascular diseases and 37 (26.4%) patients with infections. Myocardial infarction (25%) and pneumonia (22%) were the most common admitting diagnoses. Trauma accounted for only 6.4% (9 patients) of admissions. Sixty-three (45.0%) patients recovered and were discharged or transferred to hospital wards in stable condition, 40 (28.6%) were transferred to tertiary care centers for specialized services, 21 (15.0%) were transferred to tertiary care centers after closure of the temporary hospitals in Mena and Arafat, 15 (10.7%) patients died, and one (0.7%) patient was ddischarged against medical advice.

Conclusion: This study revealed information oo the pattern of diseases and the most common causes of admission of pilgrims to ICUs and the required medical services during Hajj. It is hoped that this information will be of help to health care planners and officials to provide optimal and cost effective health care services to pilgrims in Hajj.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Holidays*
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data*
  • Islam*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Travel / statistics & numerical data*