Hidden hospital mortality in patients with sepsis discharged from the intensive care unit

ABSTRACT Objective: To evaluate the impact of the presence of sepsis on in-hospital mortality after intensive care unit discharge. Methods: Retrospective, observational, single-center study. All consecutive patients discharged alive from the intensive care unit of Hospital Vila Franca de Xira (Portugal) from January 1 to December 31, 2015 (N = 473) were included and followed until death or hospital discharge. In-hospital mortality after intensive care unit discharge was calculated for septic and non-septic patients. Results: A total of 61 patients (12.9%) died in the hospital after being discharged alive from the intensive care unit. This rate was higher among the patients with sepsis on admission, 21.4%, whereas the in-hospital, post-intensive care unit mortality rate for the remaining patients was nearly half that, 9.3% (p < 0.001). Other patient characteristics associated with mortality were advanced age (p = 0.02), male sex (p < 0.001), lower body mass index (p = 0.02), end-stage renal disease (p = 0.04) and high Simplified Acute Physiology Score II (SAPS II) at intensive care unit admission (p < 0.001), the presence of shock (p < 0.001) and medical admission (p < 0.001). We developed a logistic regression model and identified the independent predictors of in-hospital mortality after intensive care unit discharge. Conclusion: Admission to the intensive care unit with a sepsis diagnosis is associated with an increased risk of dying in the hospital, not only in the intensive care unit but also after resolution of the acute process and discharge from the intensive care unit.