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BACKGROUND: Pandemic influenza A (H1N1) was a serious health problem during the winter of 2009‐2010 in Turkey. OBJECTIVE: To clarify the clinical and demographic characteristics of patients who needed intensive care in our region. METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study
from November 2009 to February 2010 of demographic characteristics, clinical course, management strategies, 28-day mortality, and stay in the intensive care unit (ICU). RESULTS: During the study period, in our ICU we followed 18 patients (10 female) with H1N1. Their median (and IQR) age was
39 y (24‐52 y), their median (and IQR) Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE II) score was 16 (10‐25), and 7 (39%) of them lived in rural places. All 18 patients had acute lung injury (ALI) or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The most common risk factors
for severe H1N1 infection were obesity (33%), COPD (16%), and pregnancy (11%). Thirteen patients (72%) needed mechanical ventilation at ICU admission. Mortality was 50% (9/18) at day 28. Significantly more survivors were urban dwellers than rural (82% vs 0%, P < .001). There were
also statistically significant differences between survivors and nonsurvivors in success of noninvasive ventilation, time to confirmation of the H1N1 virus after ICU admission, creatinine, lactate dehydrogenase, pH, PaCO2, and PaO2/FIO2.
CONCLUSIONS: The most common clinical presentation was ALI/ARDS in H1N1 patients who needed intensive care. Living in rural areas might have affected those patients' access to advanced ICU facilities and early ventilatory support. Failure of noninvasive ventilation, late diagnosis, late antiviral
therapy, high APACHE II score, and living in a rural area were associated with mortality.