Severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) requiring admission to a critical care unit is associated with high mortality and long lengths of stay. We describe the case mix, outcome, and activity of admissions with SAP who were identified from a high-quality clinical database.
We conducted a secondary analysis of the ICNARC (Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre) Case Mix Programme Database of 219,468 admissions to 159 adult, general critical care units in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland for the period of 1995 to 2003 to identify admissions with SAP. The ability of the modified Glasgow criteria to discriminate hospital survivors from non-survivors was compared to that of the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score and a number of individual physiological parameters.
A total of 2,677 admissions with SAP were identified (1.2% of all admissions). Mortality for these admissions was 31% in the critical care unit and 42% in hospital. The median length of stay in the critical care unit was 3.8 days and was similar for survivors and non-survivors. Increasing numbers of modified Glasgow criteria were associated with increasing hospital mortality, but better discrimination was provided by the APACHE II score and by several physiological parameters.
SAP requiring critical care is associated with high mortality and long length of stay. The modified Glasgow criteria represent a simple measure of severity but were not designed to predict hospital mortality. It may be possible to develop a specific model for risk prediction in patients with SAP requiring critical care.