The number of mechanically ventilated ICU patients meeting communication criteria

Heart Lung. Jan-Feb 2015;44(1):45-9. doi: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2014.08.010. Epub 2014 Sep 26.

Abstract

Objectives: (1) Estimate the proportion of mechanically ventilated (MV) intensive care unit (ICU) patients meeting basic communication criteria who could potentially be served by assistive communication tools and speech-language consultation. (2) Compare characteristics of patients who met communication criteria with those who did not.

Design: Observational cohort study in which computerized billing and medical records were screened over a 2-year period.

Setting: Six specialty ICUs across two hospitals in an academic health system.

Participants: Eligible patients were awake, alert, and responsive to verbal communication from clinicians for at least one 12-h nursing shift while receiving MV ≥ 2 consecutive days.

Main results: Of the 2671 MV patients screened, 1440 (53.9%) met basic communication criteria. The Neurological ICU had the lowest proportion of MV patients meeting communication criteria (40.82%); Trauma ICU had the highest proportion (69.97%). MV patients who did not meet basic communication criteria (n = 1231) were younger, had shorter lengths of stay and lower costs, and were more likely to die during the hospitalization.

Conclusions: We estimate that half of MV patients in the ICU could potentially be served by assistive communication tools and speech-language consultation.

Keywords: Artificial respiration; Communication; Intensive care unit; Nursing; Patient communication.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Communication*
  • Critical Care
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Respiration, Artificial*
  • Retrospective Studies