Authors: Anke J. M. Oerlemans et al
BMC Anesthesiol. 2016;16(25)
Background: Internationally, there is no consensus on how to best deal with admission requests in cases of full ICU bed occupancy. Knowledge about the degree of dissension and insight into the reasons for this dissension is lacking. Information about the opinion of ICU physicians can be used to improve decision-making regarding allocation of ICU resources.
The aim of this study was to:
- Assess which factors play a role in the decision-making process regarding the admission of ICU patients;
- Assess the adherence to a Dutch guideline pertaining to rationing of ICU resources;
- Investigate factors influencing the adherence to this guideline.
Methods: In March 2013, an online questionnaire was sent to all ICU physician members (n = 761, in 90 hospitals) of the Dutch Society for Intensive Care.
Results: 166 physicians (21.8 %) working in 64 different Dutch hospitals (71.1 %) completed the questionnaire. Factors associated with a patient’s physical condition and quality of life were generally considered most important in admission decisions. Scenario-based adherence to the Dutch guideline “Admission request in case of full ICU bed occupancy” was found to be low (adherence rate 50.0 %). There were two main reasons for this poor compliance: unfamiliarity with the guideline and disagreement with the fundamental approach underlying the guideline.
Conclusions: Dutch ICU physicians disagree about how to deal with admission requests in cases of full ICU bed occupancy. The results of this study contribute to the discussion about the fundamental principles regarding admission of ICU patients in case of full bed occupancy