Purpose: The purpose of this study was to detail the trajectory and outcomes of patients with severe sepsis admitted from the emergency department to a non-intensive care unit (ICU) setting and identify risk factors associated with adverse outcomes. Material and methods: This was a single-center retrospective cohort study conducted at a tertiary, academic hospital in the United States between 2005 and 2009. The primary outcome was a composite outcome of ICU transfer within 48 hours of admission and/or 28-day mortality. Results: Of 1853 patients admitted with severe sepsis, 841 (45%) were admitted to a non-ICU setting, the rate increased over time (P < .001), and 12.5% of these patients were transferred to the ICU within 48 hours and/or died within 28 days. In multivariable models, age (P < .001), an oncology diagnosis (P < .001), and illness severity as measured by Acute Physiologic and Chronic Health Evaluation II (P = .04) and high (≥ 4 mmol/L) initial serum lactate levels (P = .005) were associated with the primary outcome. Conclusions: Patients presenting to the emergency department with severe sepsis were frequently admitted to a non-ICU setting, and the rate increased over time. Of 8 patients admitted to the hospital ward, one was transferred to the ICU within 48 hours and/or died within 28 days of admission. Factors present at admission were identified that were associated with adverse outcomes.
- ICU transfer
- Severe sepsis