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Clinical Investigations in Critical Care |

Hospital Readmission Among Long-term Ventilator Patients*

Sara L. Douglas, PhD; Barbara J. Daly, PhD; Patricia F. Brennan, PhD; Nahida H. Gordon, PhD; Penpaktr Uthis, PhD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing (Drs. Douglas and Daly) and the School of Medicine (Dr. Gordon), Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH; School of Nursing (Dr. Brennan), University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI; and the School of Nursing (Dr. Uthis), Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Correspondence to: Sara L. Douglas, PhD, School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106-4904; e-mail address: SLD4@po.cwru.edu



Chest. 2001;120(4):1278-1286. doi:10.1378/chest.120.4.1278
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Study objectives: Patients experiencing prolonged periods of in-hospital mechanical ventilation have been described as long-term ventilator (LTV) patients. The purpose of this study was to document the incidence of hospital readmission and to identify risk factors for readmission for LTV patients up to 6 months after hospital discharge.

Design: This study was part of a larger prospective longitudinal descriptive study of posthospital outcomes for LTV patients.

Setting and participants: One hundred ninety-nine ICU patients admitted to a university medical center, Veterans Administration hospital, or small community hospital who required > 96 h of continuous in-hospital mechanical ventilation were enrolled.

Measurements and results: Descriptive statistics, logistic regression, and survival analytic techniques were used. The 6-month hospital readmission rate was 38%. Readmission occurred most often within days 1 to 60 days (mean, 39.2 days) posthospital discharge. Predictive variables for readmission were the following: length of the index hospital stay; length of the index mechanical ventilation; and the need for oxygen at hospital discharge. Using survival analysis, the age category of 66 to 71 years was statistically significant for the relative risk of readmission within the first 30 days of the index hospital discharge.

Conclusions: LTV patients should be considered at risk for hospital readmission. Further study examining the impact of closer follow-up in the first 60 days posthospital discharge is necessary in order to determine whether there is a more effective way of reducing the risk of readmission for LTV patients.

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