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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2006 April;61(2):113-7

language: English

Emergency intensive care admission following elective thoracic surgery

Khan O. A., Chau R., Moorjani N., Tsang G. M., Barlow C. W., Amer K. M.

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery Southampton General Hospital Southampton, UK


Aim. The aim of this study was to analyse the outcomes of patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) following initial recovery after elective thoracic surgery.
Methods. The case notes of all patients who underwent elective thoracic surgery over a one-year period were reviewed. Patients who were admitted to ICU following an initial recovery on the ward were identified and their postoperative course analysed. The clinical and demographic characteristics of these patients were recorded and their outcomes analysed.
Results. A total of 20 patients were admitted to ICU of whom 13 (65%) were admitted for respiratory complication, 5 with sepsis and 2 with cardiovascular instability. Sixteen (80%) patients required CPAP or BIPAP, of whom only 7 (35%) required mechanical ventilation. Renal support was required in 7 patients, with 2 (10%) requiring haemofiltration. ICU survival was 15 patients (75%), whilst overall three-month survival post ICU admission was 65%. Requirement for renal support was the only predictor of mortality on univariate and multivariate analysis.
Conclusion. Salvage ICU admission following elective thoracic surgery is associated with significant mortality, however the outcome is far from hopeless. The majority of patients can be managed without recourse to mechanical ventilation or haemofiltration. The need for renal support is, however, a significant adverse prognostic indicator.

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