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Audit of acute admissions of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: inpatient management and outcome

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Abstract:

Abstract Background:

Despite the publication of several management guidelines for exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), there is little information on standards of care in clinical practice. The aim of this audit was to examine the assessment, management and outcome of COPD admissions to a secondary and tertiary referring New Zealand hospital during two different seasons. Compliance to current recommendations was examined and compared with the available international published work. Methods:

All COPD-related admissions to Waikato Hospital during the months of May and October 2004 were reviewed. Ninety-four cases (from 84 patients) were audited. Results:

General characteristics, clinical features and lung function tests were similar to that of other cohorts. Twenty-three per cent of the admissions were Maori and the mean age of Maori admissions were significantly less than that of the non-Maori admissions (57 and 72 years, respectively; P = 0.0001). The geometric mean length of stay was 3.4 days, which is significantly less than most other reported hospital lengths of stays related to exacerbations of COPD. Fifty-five per cent of the cohort was admitted more than once to the hospital for COPD in the 12 months before the index admission. Thirteen per cent of all admissions received assisted ventilation. Overall 30-day mortality was 8% and the 12-month mortality was 31%. Decreased body mass index was a risk factor for death as was an increased CURB-65 (confusion, urea, respiratory rate, blood pressure age) score – a simple bedside assessment score, which has previously been used to predict mortality in patients with community-acquired pneumonia. Conclusion:

This audit documented the general characteristics, assessment, management and outcome of the COPD admissions to a secondary New Zealand hospital. Further investigations into factors contributing to shorter length of stay and predictors of mortality are needed.

Keywords: blood pressure score; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; confusion; exacerbation; hospitalization; mortality; respiratory rate; urea

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1445-5994.2006.01283.x

Affiliations: Department of Respiratory Medicine, Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand

Publication date: April 1, 2007

bsc/imj/2007/00000037/00000004/art00005
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