Influenza A (H1N1) virus pneumonia in intensive care unit

Tuberk Toraks. 2010;58(3):278-85.


Patients with influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have been admitted to intensive care units (ICU) due to development of severe respiratory failure. We described the clinical and epidemiologic characteristics of the 19 patients admitted to ICU due to influenza A (H1N1) virus infection. Study design is a descriptive case series in a third level-20 bed respiratory ICU at training hospital in Istanbul/Turkey. Influenza A (H1N1) virus infection was laboratory confirmed in specimens using real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR). We collected data concerning demographic, epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of the patients, treatment mortality and outcome. From November 10 to December 31 2009, a total of 19 patients; 7 laboratory confirmed, 12 with high clinical suspicion were treated at ICU. Among 12 patients with high clinical suspicion; 3 patients had negative RT-PCR testing for influenza A (H1N1) virus, 9 patients had no tests. Mean age was 41.6 ± 11.9 (range 21 to 61). Median number of lung zone involvement was 4 (IQR= 3-4). Median PaO2/FiO2 was 105 (IQR= 85-165). Mean severity (APACHE II) and organ failure score (SOFA) were 13 ± 4 and 4.0 ± 1.3 respectively. Non-invasive mechanical ventilation (68.4%, n= 13), invasive mechanical ventilation (21.1%, n= 4) and nasal cannula oxygen (31.5%, n= 6) were implicated. The median length of ICU stay was 6 (IQR= 4-8). Oseltamivir therapy was given as 75 mg bid to 12 patients and 150 mg bid to 7 obese patients. ICU mortality rate was 21.1%. Presenting patients with pneumonia and acute respiratory failure due to influenza A (H1N1) virus infection were treated predominantly and successfully with non invasive mechanical ventilation. Clinicians should be aware of pulmonary complications of influenza A (H1N1) virus infection and that patients can be treated with non invasive mechanical ventilation paying attention to protective measures for health care providers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / isolation & purification*
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology*
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data*
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Turkey / epidemiology
  • Young Adult