- •Due to medical advances, an increasing number of patients are surviving the acute critical illness.
- •Only a small number of patients requires a very prolonged ICU stay ≥90 days.
- •About two-third of patients survives the ICU stay, one-third 1-Year.
- •A small number of patients survives 1-Year with a remarkable recovery.
- •Critical care treatment seems worthwhile in this highly selected patient population.
Due to medical advances, an increasing number of patients are surviving the acute critical illness. However, some patients require a prolonged critical care treatment. Data on outcome and functional status of patients with an ICU-stay ≥90 days are scarce.
Single-center retrospective study including all adult patients with ICU stay ≥90 days treated at the department of intensive care medicine at the university medical center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany, between January 1st 2008 and December 31st 2016.
Out of 65,249 patients, we identified 96 (0.1%) patients with a very prolonged ICU stay. Median age was 61 (49.8–67) years, 30 (31%) patients were female. Patients were admitted to ICU due to abdominal (28%) reasons, followed by sepsis (23%) and transplantation (15%). Fourteen patients received organ-transplantation: 9 received liver-, 4 lung- and 1 heart-transplantation. All patients needed mechanical ventilation (MV), median duration was 74.1 (55–95.1) days. Sixty-Three (66%) patients survived the ICU-stay and 1-Year survival rate was 28%. Overall eight (8%) patients had a favourable outcome after 1-Year. Severity of illness (SOFA, SAPS II) on admission were comparable. Length of MV, use of renal replacement therapy (both p < .01) and maximum lactate (5.3 vs 11.5 mmol/l; p < .001) were significantly higher in ICU non-survivors. ICU-stay was significantly longer in ICU non-survivors (137 vs 107 days; p < .05). Cox-regression-model revealed age (HR 1.02, 95% CI 1.00–1.04, p < .05) and surgical admission (HR 0.50, 95% CI 0.28–0.90, p < .05) as independent predictors of 1-year mortality.
Only a small number of patients requires a very prolonged ICU stay. Two-third of patients survive the ICU stay and about one-third 1-Year. However, about 10% of patients have a remarkable recovery with a favourable overall outcome after 1-Year.