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1.  Utilization of Critical Care Services among Patients Undergoing Total Hip and Knee Arthroplasty 
Anesthesiology  2012;117(1):107-116.
A paucity of data exist on the use of critical care services (CCS) among hip and knee arthroplasty patients. The authors sought to identify the incidence and risk factors for the use of CCS among these patients and compare the characteristics and outcomes of patients who require CCS to those who do not.
The authors analyzed hospital discharge data of patients who underwent primary hip or knee arthroplasty in approximately 400 United States hospitals between 2006 and 2010. Patient and healthcare system-related demographics for admitted patients requiring CCS were compared with those who did not. Differences in outcomes, including mortality, complications, disposition status, and hospital charges, were analyzed. Regression analysis was performed to identify risk factors for requiring CCS.
A total of 528,495 patients underwent primary total hip (n = 172,467, 33%) and knee arthroplasty (n = 356,028, 67%). Of these, 3% required CCS. On average, CCS patients were older and had a higher comorbidity burden than did patients not requiring CCS. CCS patients experienced more complications, had longer hospital stays and higher costs, and were less likely to be discharged home than were non-CCS patients.
Risk factors with increased odds for requiring CCS included advanced age, use of general versus neuraxial anesthesia, and the presence of postoperative cardiopulmonary complications.
Approximately 1 of 30 patients undergoing total joint arthroplasty requires CCS. Given the large number of these procedures performed annually, anesthesiologists, orthopedic surgeons, critical care physicians, and administrators should be aware of the attendant risks this population represents and allocate resources accordingly.
PMCID: PMC3662478  PMID: 22634871
2.  Advance Directives in an Oncologic Intensive Care Unit: A Contemporary Analysis of their Frequency, Type, and Impact 
Journal of Palliative Medicine  2011;14(4):483-489.
Our objective was to provide a contemporary analysis of the prevalence, types, and impact of advance health care directives in critically ill cancer patients.
We retrospectively reviewed all intensive care unit (ICU) admissions (January 1, 2006 to April 25, 2008) at an oncologic center and identified all patients who completed a living will (LW), or health care proxy (HCP), or neither prior to ICU admission. Demographics, clinical data, end-of-life (EOL) parameters and outcomes were compared among three groups: LWs, HCPs, and no LW or HCP.
Of 1,333 ICU admissions, 1,121 patients (84%) were included for analysis: 176 patients (15.7%) had LW, 534 (47.6%) had HCP and 411 (36.7%) had no LW or HCP. Patients with LW were significantly more likely to be older and white as compared to patients with HCP alone, or no LW or HCP. There were no significant demographic differences between patients with HCP or no LW or HCP. Patients with HCP alone, or no LW or HCP, were significantly more likely to have Medicaid than patients with LW. There were no differences noted in ICU care, EOL management, or outcomes among the three groups.
The prevalence of LWs in patients admitted to our oncologic ICU is low. More than half of the remaining patients had designated HCPs. Older age and white race were associated with the presence of LWs. However, the presence of LWs or HCPs did not influence ICU care, EOL management or outcomes at our institution.
PMCID: PMC3678563  PMID: 21417740
3.  Intensive care of the cancer patient: recent achievements and remaining challenges 
A few decades have passed since intensive care unit (ICU) beds have been available for critically ill patients with cancer. Although the initial reports showed dismal prognosis, recent data suggest that an increased number of patients with solid and hematological malignancies benefit from intensive care support, with dramatically decreased mortality rates. Advances in the management of the underlying malignancies and support of organ dysfunctions have led to survival gains in patients with life-threatening complications from the malignancy itself, as well as infectious and toxic adverse effects related to the oncological treatments. In this review, we will appraise the prognostic factors and discuss the overall perspective related to the management of critically ill patients with cancer. The prognostic significance of certain factors has changed over time. For example, neutropenia or autologous bone marrow transplantation (BMT) have less adverse prognostic implications than two decades ago. Similarly, because hematologists and oncologists select patients for ICU admission based on the characteristics of the malignancy, the underlying malignancy rarely influences short-term survival after ICU admission. Since the recent data do not clearly support the benefit of ICU support to unselected critically ill allogeneic BMT recipients, more outcome research is needed in this subgroup. Because of the overall increased survival that has been reported in critically ill patients with cancer, we outline an easy-to-use and evidence-based ICU admission triage criteria that may help avoid depriving life support to patients with cancer who can benefit. Lastly, we propose a research agenda to address unanswered questions.
PMCID: PMC3159899  PMID: 21906331
4.  Premortem clinical diagnoses and postmortem autopsy findings: discrepancies in critically ill cancer patients 
Critical Care  2007;11(2):R48.
Limited data are available regarding the relationship of premortem clinical diagnoses and postmortem autopsy findings in cancer patients who die in an oncologic intensive care unit (ICU). The purposes of this study were to compare the premortem clinical and postmortem diagnoses of cancer patients who died in the ICU and to analyze any discrepancies between them.
This is a retrospective review of medical records and autopsy reports of all cancer patients who died in a medical-surgical ICU and had an autopsy performed between 1 January 1999 and 30 September 2005 at a tertiary care cancer center. Premortem clinical diagnoses were compared with the postmortem findings. Major missed diagnoses were identified and classified, according to the Goldman criteria, into class I and class II discrepancies.
Of 658 deaths in the ICU during the study period, 86 (13%) autopsies were performed. Of the 86 patients, 22 (26%) had 25 major missed diagnoses, 12 (54%) patients had class I discrepancies, 7 (32%) had class II discrepancies, and 3 (14%) had both class I and class II discrepancies. Class I discrepancies were due to opportunistic infections (67%) and cardiac complications (33%), whereas class II discrepancies were due to cardiopulmonary complications (70%) and opportunistic infections (30%).
There was a discrepancy rate of 26% between premortem clinical diagnoses and postmortem findings in cancer patients who died in a medical-surgical ICU at a tertiary care cancer center. Our findings underscore the need for enhanced surveillance, monitoring, and treatment of infections and cardiopulmonary disorders in critically ill cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC2206477  PMID: 17448238

Results 1-4 (4)