Long-term outcomes of hospital survivors following an ICU stay: A multi-centre retrospective cohort study

Zakary B. Doherty, Rebecca Kippen, David Bevan, Graeme Duke, Sharon Williams, Andrew Wilson, David V. Pilcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The focus of much Intensive Care research has been on short-term survival, which has demonstrated clear improvements over time. Less work has investigated long-term survival, and its correlates. This study describes long-term survival and identifies factors associated with time to death, in patients who initially survived an Intensive Care admission in Victoria, Australia.

We conducted a retrospective cohort study of adult patients discharged alive from hospital following admission to all Intensive Care Units (ICUs) in the state of Victoria, Australia between July 2007 and June 2018. Using the Victorian Death Registry, we determined survival of patients beyond hospital discharge. Comparisons between age matched cohorts of the general population were made. Cox regression was employed to investigate factors associated with long-term survival.

A total of 130,775 patients from 23 ICUs were included (median follow-up 3.6 years post-discharge). At 1-year post-discharge, survival was 90% compared to the age-matched cohort of 98%. All sub-groups had worse long-term survival than their age-matched general population cohort, apart from elderly patients admitted following cardiac surgery who had better or equal survival. Multiple demographic, socio-economic, diagnostic, acute and chronic illness factors were associated with long-term survival.

Australian patients admitted to ICU who survive to discharge have worse long-term survival than the general population, except for the elderly admitted to ICU following cardiac surgery. These findings may assist during goal-of-care discussions with patients during an ICU admission.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0266038
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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