Introduction: The aim of this study was to describe the management and prognosis related to a hospital admission for acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and to compare results to an earlier study.
Objectives and methods: This is a retrospective study of 300 consecutively discharged patients admitted in 2006-2007 with an exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease from three respiratory departments. Data were collected from patient charts and compared with a replicate study done in 2001.
Results: The mean age was 72.1years; 61.7% were women. Mean forced expiratory volume in 1s was 37.6% of predicted. On admission, 11.3% were treated with non-invasive ventilation, and 84.3% were given systemic corticosteroids. In-hospital mortality was 4.7%. At discharge, treatment with inhaled corticosteroids or at least one long-acting bronchodilator was given to 86.7% and 89% of patients, respectively, which was significantly higher than for similarly sampled patients in 2001. Mortality in 30days and 1year after discharge was 4.5% and 25.5%, respectively, compared with 5.5% and 30.3% in 2001, the 12-month mortality being significantly lower (P=0.03). Readmission rate in the 12months following discharge was 42.3%. Long-term oxygen treatment, treatment with anti-dysrhythmic drugs and lack of outpatient follow-up were independent predictors of 1-year mortality. Risk of readmission was increased with dependence in self-care activities, previous admissions and treatment with strong analgesics.
Conclusions: Over a period of 6years, a significantly higher number of patients are being treated according to guidelines. Survival following discharge increased over the same period.
© 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.