Patients with sepsis are at risk for mechanical ventilation. This study aimed to identify risk factors for initiation of mechanical ventilation in patients with sepsis and assess whether these factors varied with time.
Data from the electronic health record were used to model risk factors for initiation of mechanical ventilation after the onset of sepsis. A time-varying Cox model was used to study factors that varied with time.
Of 35 020 patients who met sepsis criteria, 28 747 were eligible for inclusion. Mechanical ventilation was initiated within 30 days after sepsis onset in 3891 patients (13.5%). Factors that were independently associated with increased likelihood of receipt of mechanical ventilation were race (White: adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.59; 95% CI, 1.39-1.83; other/unknown: adjusted HR, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.54-2.52), systemic inflammatory response syndrome (adjusted HR [per point], 1.23; 95% CI, 1.17-1.28), Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score (adjusted HR [per point], 1.28; 95% CI, 1.26-1.31), and congestive heart failure (adjusted HR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.17-1.45). Hazard ratios decreased with time for Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score and congestive heart failure and varied with time for 4 comorbidities and 3 culture results.
The risk for mechanical ventilation associated with different factors varied with time after sepsis onset, increasing for some factors and decreasing for others. Through a better understanding of risk factors for initiation of mechanical ventilation in patients with sepsis, targeted interventions may be tailored to high-risk patients.