Unplanned readmission to the intensive care unit (ICU) is associated with poor prognosis, longer hospital stay, increased costs, and higher mortality rate. In this retrospective study, involving 1368 patients, the risk factors for and outcomes of ICU readmission after cardiac surgery were analyzed. The readmission rate was 5.9%, and the most common reason for readmission was cardiac issues. Preoperative risk factors were comorbid conditions, mechanical ventilation, and admission route. Perioperative risk factors were nonelective surgery, duration of cardiopulmonary bypass, and longer operation time. Postoperative risk factors were prolonged mechanical ventilation time, new-onset arrhythmia, unplanned reoperation, massive blood transfusion, prolonged inotropic infusions, and complications. Other factors were high blood glucose level, hemoglobin level, and score on the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II. In-hospital stay was longer and late mortality was higher in the readmitted group. These data could help clinical practitioners create improved ICU discharge protocols or treatment algorithms to reduce length of stay or to reduce readmissions.

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