Scientific article
Open access

ICU physicians' and internists' survival predictions for patients evaluated for admission to the intensive care unit

Published inAnnals of Intensive Care, vol. 8, 108
Publication date2018

Background: A higher chance of survival is a key justification for admission to the intensive care unit (ICU). This implies that physicians should be able to accurately estimate a patient's prognosis, whether cared for on the ward or in the ICU. We aimed to determine whether physicians' survival predictions correlate with the admission decisions and with patients' observed survival. Consecutive ICU consultations for internal medicine patients were included. The ICU physician and the internist were asked to predict patient survival with intensive care and with care on the ward using 5 categories of probabilities (< 10%, 10–40%, 41–60%, 61–90%, > 90%). Patient mortality at 28 days was recorded. Results: Thirty ICU physicians and 97 internists assessed 201 patients for intensive care. Among the patients, 140 (69.7%) were admitted to the ICU. Fifty-eight (28.9%) died within 28 days. Admission to intensive care was associated with predicted survival gain in the ICU, particularly for survival estimates made by ICU physicians. Observed survival was associated with predicted survival, for both groups of physicians. The discrimination of the predictions for survival with intensive care, measured by the area under the ROC curve, was 0.63 for ICU physicians and 0.76 for internists; for survival on the ward the areas under the ROC curves were 0.69 and 0.74, respectively. Conclusions: Physicians are able to predict survival probabilities when they assess patients for intensive care, albeit imperfectly. Internists are more accurate than ICU physicians. However, ICU physicians' estimates more strongly influence the admission decision. Closer collaboration between ICU physicians and internists is needed.

  • Intensive care
  • Survival
  • Prediction
  • Patient admission
  • Triage
Citation (ISO format)
ESCHER, Monica et al. ICU physicians” and internists” survival predictions for patients evaluated for admission to the intensive care unit. In: Annals of Intensive Care, 2018, vol. 8, p. 108. doi: 10.1186/s13613-018-0456-9
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2110-5820

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