Long-Term Outcomes and Health Care Utilization after Prolonged Mechanical Ventilation
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RATIONALE: Limited data are available to characterize the long-term outcomes and associated costs for patients who require prolonged mechanical ventilation (PMV; defined here as mechanical ventilation for longer than 21 d). OBJECTIVES: To examine the association between PMV and mortality, health care utilization, and costs after critical illness. METHODS: Population-based cohort study of adults who received mechanical ventilation in an intensive care unit (ICU) in Ontario, Canada between 2002 and 2013. MEASUREMENT AND MAIN RESULTS: We used linked administrative databases to determine discharge disposition, and ascertain 1-year mortality (primary outcome), readmissions to hospital and ICU, and health care costs for hospital survivors. Overall, 11,594 (5.4%) patients underwent PMV, with 42.4% of patients dying in the hospital (vs. 27.6% of patients who did not undergo prolonged ventilation; P < 0.0001). Patients on prolonged ventilation were more frequently discharged to other facilities or home with health care support (84.8 vs. 43.5%, P < 0.0001). Among hospital survivors, estimated mortality was higher for patients who underwent PMV: 16.6 versus 11% at 1 year and 42.0 versus 30.4% at 5 years. At 1 year after hospital discharge, patients on prolonged ventilation had higher rates of hospital readmission (47.2 vs. 37.7%; adjusted odds ratio = 1.20; 95% confidence interval = 1.14-1.26), ICU readmission (19.0 vs. 11.6%; adjusted odds ratio = 1.49; 95% confidence interval: 1.39, 1.60), and total health care costs: median (interquartile range) Can $32,526 ($20,821-$56,102) versus Can $13,657 ($5,946-$38,022). Increasing duration of mechanical ventilation was associated with higher mortality and health care utilization. CONCLUSIONS: Critically ill patients who undergo mechanical ventilation in an ICU for longer than 21 days have high in-hospital mortality and greater postdischarge mortality, health care utilization, and health care costs compared with patients who undergo mechanical ventilation for a shorter period of time.
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