Introduction: We investigated the incidence of, outcome from and possible risk factors for readmission to the surgical intensive care unit (ICU) at Friedrich Schiller University Hospital, Jena, Germany.
Methods: We conducted an analysis of prospectively collected data from all patients admitted to the postoperative ICU between September 2004 and July 2006.
Results: Of 3169 patients admitted to the ICU during the study period, 2852 were discharged to the hospital floor and these patients made up the study group (1828 male (64.1%), mean patient age 62 years). The readmission rate was 13.4% (n = 381): 314 (82.4%) were readmitted once, 39 (10.2%) were readmitted twice and 28 (7.3%) were readmitted more than twice. The first readmission to the ICU occurred within a median of seven days (range 5 to 14 days). Patients who were readmitted to the ICU had a higher simplified acute physiology II score (37 +/- 16 versus 33 +/- 16; p < 0.001) and sequential organ failure score (6 +/- 3 versus 5 +/- 3; p = 0.001) on initial admission to the ICU than those who were not readmitted. In-hospital mortality was significantly higher in patients readmitted to the ICU (17.1% versus 2.9%; p < 0.001) than in other patients. In a multivariate analysis, age (odds ratio (OR) = 1.13 per 10 years; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.03 to 1.24; p = 0.04), maximum sequential organ failure score (OR = 1.04 per point; 95% CI = 1.01 to 1.08; p = 0.04) and C-reactive protein levels on the day of discharge to the hospital floor (OR = 1.02; 95% CI = 1.01 to 1.04; p = 0.035) were independently associated with a higher risk of readmission to the ICU.
Conclusions: In this group of surgical ICU patients, readmission to the ICU was associated with a more than five-fold increase in hospital mortality. Older age, higher maximum sequential organ failure score and higher C-reactive protein levels on the day of discharge to the hospital floor were independently associated with a higher risk of readmission to the ICU.