Does sepsis treatment differ between primary and overflow intensive care units?

Kittane Vishnupriya, Olufunmilayo Falade, Addisu Workneh, Satish Chandolu, Regina Landis, Kaweesa Elizabeth, Reethi Iyengar, Scott Wright, Jonathan Sevransky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Sepsis is a major cause of death in hospitalized patients. Early goal-directed therapy is the standard of care. When primary intensive care units (ICUs) are full, sepsis patients are cared for in overflow ICUs. Objective:: To determine if process-of-care measures in the care of sepsis patients differed between primary and overflow ICUs at our institution. Design:: We conducted a retrospective study of all adult patients admitted with sepsis between July 2009 and February 2010 to either the primary ICU or the overflow ICU. MEASUREMENTS:: Baseline patient characteristics and multiple process-of-care measures, including diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. RESULTS:: There were 141 patients admitted with sepsis to our hospital; 100 were cared for in the primary ICU and 41 in the overflow ICU. Baseline acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE II) scores were similar. Patients received similar processes-of-care in the primary ICU and overflow ICU with the exception of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and gastrointestinal (GI) prophylaxis within 24 hours of admission, which were better adhered to in the primary ICU (74% vs 49%, P = 0.004, and 68% vs 44%, P = 0.012, respectively). There were no significant differences in hospital and ICU length of stay between the 2 units (9.68 days vs 9.73 days, P = 0.98, and 4.78 days vs 4.92 days, P = 0.97, respectively). CONCLUSIONS:: Patients with sepsis admitted to the primary ICU and overflow ICU at our institution were managed similarly. Overflowing sepsis patients to non-primary intensive care units may not affect guideline-concordant care delivery or length of stay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)600-605
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of hospital medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Leadership and Management
  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning
  • Assessment and Diagnosis


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