Morbidity and mortality after discharge from an intensive care unit appear to be higher in patients with sepsis than in patients without sepsis.


To evaluate morbidity and mortality in patients with and without sepsis within 2 years after intensive care unit discharge.


A prospective cohort study was conducted in 2 intensive care units. Patients who stayed in the intensive care unit longer than 24 hours were followed up for 2 years after discharge. Morbidity was assessed by using the Karnofsky scale, the Lawton instrumental activities of daily living scale, presence of pain, and readmissions.


During the study, 74.7% of patients (859 of 1150; 242 with sepsis, 617 without sepsis) were discharged from the intensive care unit. Compared with patients without sepsis, patients with sepsis had higher mortality during follow-up (57.4% vs 34.2%; P < .001) and were 1.34 times as likely to die (per Cox regression). More patients with sepsis had pain (48.5% vs 35.2%, P = .003) and read-missions (65.5% vs 55.0%, P = .02). Patients with sepsis had a greater degree of functional loss, adjusted for confounding factors (mean [SD] change in Lawton scale score from intensive care unit admission to 2 years after intensive care unit discharge, 4.0 [8.0] vs 3.4 [8.2]; P = .31).


Compared with patients without sepsis, those with sepsis have higher mortality in the intensive care unit and have more pain, hospital readmissions, and functional decline within 2 years after discharge.

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