A new way to calculate global intensive care unit mortality risk

Friday, March 8, 2019 - 14:30 in Health & Medicine

A man with a history of cardiac arrhythmia is admitted to an emergency room in Virginia, with symptoms of chest pain and irregular heartbeat. Based on factors such as age, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and platelet count, doctors are able to determine the likelihood of his surviving under intensive care. They do this with the help of an intensive care unit (ICU) severity-of-illness score, the most common of which is the APACHE system. APACHE — Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation — was originally designed in the early 1980s as a tool for predicting, then presenting critical-care mortality risk in a simplified format. With vital signs and serum levels checked, the man is estimated to have a 7 percent risk, suggesting a relatively low probability of dying during his ICU stay. The hospital will use this score to later assess its own performance, and compare similar patients’ outcomes with those of...

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