A new audit of critical care in Scotland has found that mortality for almost all diagnostic groups was lower than predicted mortality.
The Scottish Intensive Care Society Audit Group (SICSAG) report found that the only exception to this positive trend in mortality was patients treated under the diagnostic category of trauma. No unit was found to have a significantly higher mortality rate compared to the rest of Scotland.
The audit, which looked at 2018 data, reports that the most common reasons for admission to a general intensive care unit (ICU) in Scotland during 2018 were sepsis, post-cardiac arrest and respiratory infection.
Almost 3 per cent of patients in ICUs developed a healthcare-associated infection. This remains unchanged from 2017. Commenting on the finding, SICSAG Chair Dr Stephen Cole said the figures reflect the importance of infection control in the critical care workload and the heterogeneity of case mix.
The audit highlights an increasing need for intensive care and high dependency beds to support hospitals caring for an aging population with increased co-morbidities and complex chronic health conditions. It points our challenges, particularly around delayed discharge from critical care and discharges taking place out of hours.
The average occupancy rate in Scottish ICUs and combined units was 71 per cent. The mean occupancy rate in high dependency units was 73 per cent.