Study of length of stay in the cardiovascular intensive care unit

Vivian Nowazek, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is among the most common operations performed in the United States and accounts for more resources expended in cardiovascular medicine than any other single procedure. CABG surgery patients initially recover in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU). The post-procedure CVICU length of stay (LOS) goal is two days or less. A longer ICU LOS is associated with a prolonged hospital LOS, poor health outcomes, greater use of limited resources, and increased medical costs. Research has shown that experienced clinicians can predict LOS no better than chance. Current CABG surgery LOS risk models differ greatly in generalizability and ease of use in the clinical setting. A predictive model that identified modifiable pre- and intra-operative risk factors for CVICU LOS greater than two days could have major public health implications as modification of these identified factors could decrease CVICU LOS and potentially minimize morbidity and mortality, optimize use of limited health care resources, and decrease medical costs. The primary aim of this study was to identify modifiable pre-and intra-operative predictors of CVICU LOS greater than two days for CABG surgery patients with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). A secondary aim was to build a probability equation for CVICU LOS greater than two days. Data were extracted from 416 medical records of CABG surgery patients with CPB, 50 to 80 years of age, recovered in the CVICU of a large teaching, referral hospital in southeastern Texas, during the calendar year 2004 and the first quarter of 2005. Exclusion criteria included Diagnosis Related Group (DRG) 106, CABG surgery without CPB, CABG surgery with other procedures, and operative deaths. The data were analyzed using multivariate logistic regression for an alpha=0.05, power=0.80, and correlation=0.26. This study found age, history of peripheral arterial disease, and total operative time equal to and greater than four hours to be independent predictors of CVICU LOS greater than two days. The probability of CVICU LOS greater than two days can be calculated by the following equation: -2.872941 +.0323081 (age in years) + .8177223 (history of peripheral arterial disease) + .70379 (operative time).

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Nowazek, Vivian, "Study of length of stay in the cardiovascular intensive care unit" (2005). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3198333.