Epidemiology of critical care syndromes, organ failures, and life-support interventions in a suburban US community

Chest. 2011 Dec;140(6):1447-1455. doi: 10.1378/chest.11-1197. Epub 2011 Oct 13.


Background: ICU services represent a significant and increasing proportion of medical care. Population-based epidemiologic studies are essential to inform physicians and policymakers about current and future ICU demands. We aimed to determine the incidence of critical care syndromes, organ failures, and life-support interventions in a defined US suburban community with unrestricted access to critical care services.

Methods: This population-based observational cohort from January 1 to December 31, 2006, in Olmsted County, Minnesota, included all consecutive critically ill adult residents admitted to the ICU. Main outcomes were incidence of critical care syndromes, life-support interventions, and organ failures as defined by standard criteria. Incidences are reported per 100,000 population (95% CIs) and were age adjusted to the 2006 US population.

Results: A total of 1,707 ICU admissions were identified from 1,461 patients. Incidences of critical care syndromes were respiratory failure, 430 (390-470); acute kidney injury, 290 (257-323); severe sepsis, 286 (253-319); all-cause shock, 194 (167-221); acute lung injury, 86 (68-105); all-cause coma, 43 (30-55); and overt disseminated intravascular coagulation, 18 (10-26). Incidence of mechanical ventilation was invasive, 310 (276-344); noninvasive, 180 (154-206); vasopressors and inotropes, 183(155-208). Renal replacement therapy incidence was 96 (77-116). Of the cohort, 1,330 patients (91%) survived to hospital discharge. Short- and long-term survival decreased by the number of failing organs.

Conclusions: In a suburban US community with high access to critical care services, cumulative incidences of critical care syndromes and life-support interventions were higher than previously reported. The results of this study have important implications for future planning of critical care delivery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cause of Death*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Critical Care / methods
  • Critical Illness / epidemiology*
  • Critical Illness / therapy
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality / trends*
  • Hospitals, Community
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Life Support Care / methods
  • Life Support Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota
  • Multiple Organ Failure / diagnosis
  • Multiple Organ Failure / mortality*
  • Multiple Organ Failure / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Rural Population
  • Syndrome