Characteristics and outcomes of patients reviewed by intensive care unit liaison nurses in Australia: A prospective multicentre study

Australian Intensive Care Unit Liaison Nurse Investigator Forum

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Intensive care unit liaison nurse (ICU LN) services are one strategy to manage deteriorating hospital patients. Studies on the characteristics and outcomes of patients reviewed by ICU LNs have been from single centres and surveys. Objectives and methods: To conduct a 20-hospital, prospective observational study on the characteristics and outcomes of patients reviewed by Australian ICU LNs over 2 months. Participants and outcome measures: All patients screened by ICU LNs over the study period were included. Details included the source of initial review, patient demographics and initial physiological parameters, case load, interventions and patient outcome. Results: Only two hospitals provided a 24-hour, 7-day service, and in 14 hospitals, an ICU LN participated in the rapid response team (RRT). There were 3799 patients screened (54.6 men, mean age 62.9 years [SD, 19.4 years]), of whom 1330 (35 ) had no interventions (were screened only). The remaining 2469 patients received interventions; 978 (39.6 ) were reviewed once, and 1491 (60.4 ) were reviewed multiple times. The three commonest reasons for screening patients were after ICU discharge (1734 [45.6 ), as part of the RRT review (914 [24.1 ), or for a ward patient review meeting with a ?worried? criterion (412 [10.8 ). Patients who did not receive interventions were younger, more likely to be surgical patients, less likely to have dementia, less likely to be seen during an RRT review, had more favourable vital signs and were less likely to be discharged to a nursing home or die in hospital. The commonest interventions included ordering a diagnostic test, administration of medication, initiating an interprofessional referral and increasing limitations of therapy. The inhospital mortality was 10.2 overall, and 4.6 in patients who were screened but did not receive any interventions. Several predictors of inhospital mortality were identified. Conclusions: Most ICU LN reviews occur after ICU discharge or in association with an RRT review. The inhospital mortality of ICU LN-reviewed patients is high (about 10 ). ICU LNs effectively screen patients and often participate in end-of-life care planning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-252
Number of pages9
JournalCritical Care and Resuscitation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

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