PURPOSE: In an effort to determine if age could be used as a surrogate indicator of a patient’s likelihood to benefit from intensive care we identified a subset of Medical Intensive Care Unit patients and followed them to discharge.
METHODS: A cohort of patients admitted to the hospital and to the MICU was observed between May 5th and August 10, 2008. Age, gender, ethnicity, diagnosis, respiratory status, and disposition were recorded. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were utilized to determine if significant relationships were present between age and their outcome as measured by length of stay both in the MICU and in the hospital.
RESULTS: 96 patients were included in the analysis. For those individuals who died (n=51) a significant relationship was observed between age and length of stay in the MICU(Pearson’s r=0.25, p< 0.001) and total numbers of days in the hospital(Pearson’s r=0.15, p< 0.01). No significant effects were observed between age and length of stay for those individuals who survived to discharge. Ethnicity based analyses demonstrated that amongst non-white individuals (n=54)significant effects were observed between age and length of stay both in the MICU (Pearson’s r=0.22, p< 0.01) and total number of hospital days (Pearson’s r=0.22, p< 0.01). Amongst white individuals (n=42), an inversely significant effect was noted between age and MICU length of stay (Pearson’s r=-0.28, p< 0.0001). Further gender-based analyses (male n=56, female n=40) showed inversely strong correlations between age and MICU (Pearson’s r=-0.16, p< 0.01) and total number of hospital days (Pearson’s r=-0.26, p< 0.0001) suggesting that younger females have longer length of stays both in the ICU and in the hospital.
CONCLUSION: For individuals who did not die age does not play a role either in MICU or hospital length of stay. For individuals who died, age does correlate with longer MICU and overall length of stay suggesting increased resource expenditure and monetary costs for patients with potentially poor outcomes.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Age should not be a factor in making MICU accept vs disposition to floor decisions.
DISCLOSURE: Edison Gavilanes, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information