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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: hospital and intensive care unit outcomes in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Authors Alaithan A, Memon J, Rehmani, Qurashi, Salam

Received 2 September 2012

Accepted for publication 12 October 2012

Published 18 December 2012 Volume 2012:7 Pages 819—823

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S37611

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2


Abdulsalam M Alaithan,1 Javed I Memon,1 Rifat S Rehmani,2 Arif A Qureshi,1 Abdul Salam3

1Department of Medicine, King Abdulaziz Hospital, Al-Hasa, Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Emergency Medicine, King Abdulaziz Hospital, Al-Hasa, Saudi Arabia; 3King Abdullah International Medical Research Center – Eastern Region (KAIMRC-ER), Al-Hasa, Saudi Arabia

Background: There is little data surrounding the survival of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who are admitted to the critical care unit with exacerbation of symptoms. We conducted a study to measure the in-hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) outcomes of patients admitted with COPD exacerbation, and identified the related prognostic factors.
Method: We performed a retrospective cohort study of patients who were admitted to the adult ICU between January 2006 and July 2011 for COPD exacerbation in King Abdulaziz National Guard Hospital, Al-Hasa, Saudi Arabia.
Results: During the study period, a total of 119 patients were admitted to the ICU with acute respiratory failure attributed to COPD exacerbation. The mean age was 72 ± 13 years, and 44 (37%) were females. The main cause of respiratory failure was infection, which occurred in 102 (86%) patients. Thirty-nine (33%) of the admitted patients were mechanically ventilated, and the median duration was 2.6 (1–42) days. The median lengths of the ICU and hospital stays were 3 (1–40) and 9 (2–43) days, respectively. The ICU mortality was 6%, and hospital mortality was 11%. Low Glasgow Coma Scale on admission, intubation, duration of mechanical ventilation, current smoking, tracheostomy, cardiopulmonary arrest, and the development of acute renal failure were associated with higher hospital mortality.
Conclusion: Early ICU and hospital mortality is low for COPD patients who have been admitted to the ICU with exacerbation. Low Glasgow Coma Scale scores on admission, intubation, prolonged use of mechanical ventilation, and the development of acute renal failure were identified as risk factors associated with increased hospital mortality.

Keywords: intensive care unit, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, mortality rates, acute respiratory failure

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A second Letter to the Editor has been received and published for this article.

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