Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Survival of patients ventilated in an intensive therapy unit.

Br Med J 1979; 1 doi: (Published 09 June 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;1:1525
  1. J F Nunn,
  2. J S Milledge,
  3. J Singaraya


    The survival of patients who were artificially ventilated in an intensive therapy unit (ITU) of a district general hospital was studied. The first 100 such patients admitted were followed up for at least four years. Of these, 67 survived treatment in the ITU, 47 were discharged from hospital, and 30 survived four years. (Survival in the ITU of patients who did not require ventilation was 89%.) The effects of age, duration of ventilation, and disease were studied, and a higher survival was found in children, in patients ventilated for under 24 hours, and in patients admitted with drug overdosage. Survival was poor in patients aged over 75 and in those who required ventilation after cardiac arrest or myocardial infarction or for chronic obstructive lung disease. The cost of a bed in an ITUs to be used to the greatest effect it is important to define those patients who are most likely to benefit from the facilities they offer.