Litmathe et al identified risk factors for intensive care unit (ICU) readmission for a patient who has undergone cardiac surgery. Aggressive follow-up of a patient with risk factors may reduce the risk of readmission. The authors are from Heinrich-Heine University in Duesseldorf.

Patient selection: patient discharged from the ICU after cardiac surgery


About 6% of 3,374 patients were readmitted to the ICU. Readmission is associated with long ICU stays and a relatively high hospital mortality rate.


Risk factors for readmission to the ICU:

(1) mechanical ventilation > 24 hours during the initial ICU admission

(2) preoperative renal failure

(3) re-exploration for bleeding

(4) low cardiac output

(5) complex surgery (valve replacement with or without CABG, other)


Reasons for ICU readmission:

(1) respiratory failure

(2) cardiovascular instability

(3) renal failure

(4) cardiac tamponade or post-operative bleeding

(5) gastrointestinal complications

(6) sepsis

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