Background: The aim of the study was to provide data on the patient flow at a regional/tertiary Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) according to diagnosis, treatment, length of stay and outcome.
Method: The study was conducted as an internal quality control registration at the Intensive care part (6 beds) and Step-down part (5 beds) of the MICU at Oslo University Hospital, Ulleval. All admitted patients were consecutively registered for one year (15.04.08-14.04.09).
Results: There were 984 admissions divided into 374 (38%) at the Intensive care part and 610 (62%) at the Step-down part (OVS). The most frequent primary diagnosis was sepsis followed by epilepsy/seizure and acute poisoning Males had a median age of 58yrs, women 63yrs. In 103 admissions patients were registered as previously healthy. This group had a lower median age and a higher percentage of men than the whole patient group. Main diagnosis in this former group were sepsis closely followed by acute poisoning. Average length of stay at the Intensive care part was 5.5 days and 2.1 days at the step-down part. After the stay at MICU, 545 (55.4%) of the admissions were transferred to somatic wards at Ulleval hospital. 51 (14%) patients died during the stay at the Intensive care; whereas 24 (4%) died in the Step-down part. Average SAPS II score (Intensive care) was 37.95. The most common major treatment regimens employed were CPAP, mechanical ventilation, BiPAP, and dialysis.
Conclusion: The patient group was highly heterogeneous. There was a difference both in age, sex and admission diagnosis among those who were registered as previously healthy versus chronically ill. SAPS II scores were significantly higher for those who died compared to survivors. The present study may help to anticipate needs, workload, costs and demands for a MICU and thus increase the quality of treatment given patients.