Service Workload

613 patients were admitted to the ICU in 2005, a further increase on recent years. 51% of patients stayed 1 day, while 35% stayed 3 days or more, similar to recent years. Average length of stay shortened to 4 days. Average occupancy for the year was 92% (international recommendations are 70%): for eight months the monthly average was over 90%. The ICU had to overflow using PACU for 49 patient nights, placing enormous strain on resources. The ICU continued to provide the critical care component of the liver transplant programme. The year saw a record 55 transplants.

Severity of illness increased again (having appeared to have plateaued): average APACHE II score was 24, up from 19 last year. Similarly organ failure rates and organ support rates increased again: 82% of patients received mechanical ventilation. Overall ICU survival was 80%, with hospital survival of 78%. There is a welcome trend of increasing post-ICU discharge hospital survival.

St. Vincent 's supplied an ICU nurse and registrar to staff the transfer of critically ill patients by MICAS (mobile intensive care ambulance service) on a 1:4 roster.