Postoperative Haematocrit and Outcome in Critically Ill Surgical Patients

Ana Martins Lopes, Diana Silva, Gabriela Sousa, Joana Silva, Alice Santos, Fernando José Abelha

Abstract


Introduction: Haematocrit has been studied as an outcome predictor. The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between low haematocrit at surgical intensive care unit admission and high disease scoring system score and early outcomes.
Material and Methods: This retrospective study included 4398 patients admitted to the surgical intensive care unit between January 2006 and July 2013. Acute physiology and chronic health evaluation and simplified acute physiology score II values were calculated and all variables entered as parameters were evaluated independently. Patients were classified as haematocrit if they had a haematocrit < 30% at surgical intensive care unit admission. The correlation between admission haematocrit and outcome was evaluated by univariate analysis and linear regression.
Results: A total of 1126 (25.6%) patients had haematocrit. These patients had higher rates of major cardiac events (4% vs 1.9%, p < 0.001), acute renal failure (11.5% vs 4.7%, p < 0.001), and mortality during surgical intensive care unit stay (3% vs 0.8%, p < 0.001) and hospital stay (12% vs 5.9%, p < 0.001).
Discussion: A haematocrit level < 30% at surgical intensive care unit admission was frequent and appears to be a predictor for poorer outcome in critical surgical patients.
Conclusion: Patients with haematocrit had longer surgical intensive care unit and hospital stay lengths, more postoperative complications, and higher surgical intensive care unit and hospital mortality rates.


Keywords


Anemia; Critical Care; Hematocrit; Outcome Assessment; Postoperative Complications; Postoperative Period

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