One-Year Readmission Following Undifferentiated Acute Hypercapnic Respiratory Failure Academic Article uri icon

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  • Patients with acute hypercapnic respiratory failure (AHRF) often require hospitalization and respiratory support. Early identification of patients at risk of readmission would be helpful. We evaluated 1-y readmission and mortality rates of patients admitted for undifferentiated AHRF and identified the impact of initial severity on clinically important outcomes. We retrospectively analyzed patients who presented with AHRF to the emergency department of St Michael's Hospital in 2017. We collected data about patients' characteristics, hospital admission, readmission and mortality one year after the index admission. We analyzed predictors of readmission and mortality and conducted a survival analysis comparing patients who did and did not receive ventilatory support. A cohort of 212 patients with AHRF who survived their hospital admission were analyzed. At one year, 150 patients (70.8%) were readmitted and 19 (9%) had died. Main diagnoses included chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (60%), congestive heart failure (36%), asthma (22%) and obesity (19%), and these categories of patients had similar 1 y readmission rates. One third had more than one coexisting chronic illness. Although comorbidities were more frequent in readmitted patients, only a history of previous hospital admissions remained associated with 1 y readmission and mortality in multivariate analysis. Need for ventilatory support at admission was not associated with higher 1 y probability of readmission or death. Undifferentiated AHRF is the presentation of multiple chronic illnesses. Patients who survive one episode of AHRF and with previous history of admission have the highest risk of readmission and death regardless of whether they receive ventilatory support during index admission.


  • Cavalot, Giulia
  • Dounaevskaia, Vera
  • Vieira, Fernando
  • Piraino, Thomas
  • Coudroy, Remi
  • Smith, Orla
  • Hall, David A
  • Burns, Karen
  • Brochard, Laurent

publication date

  • November 2, 2021