Optimizing critical care of the trauma patient at the intermediate care unit: A cost-efficient approach

Joost D.J. Plate*, Linda M. Peelen, Luke P.H. Leenen, Falco Hietbrink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to describe the case load, safety, and cost savings of critical care of the trauma patient provided at the surgical intermediate care unit (IMCU).

METHODS: This cohort study included all trauma admissions between January 1, 2011 and January 7, 2015 at the general intensive care unit (ICU), stand-alone neuro(surgical) IMCU, and stand-alone (trauma) surgical IMCU. Trauma mechanism, Abbreviated Injury Scale score and Injury Severity Score (ISS), vital signs, laboratory parameters, admission duration, intubation duration, ICU transfer, and in-hospital mortality were prospectively collected. Hypothetical cost savings were calculated using the fixed cost price per IMCU (US$1500) and ICU (US$2500) admission day.

RESULTS: A total of 1320 admissions were included, 675 (51.1%) at the IMCU and 645 (48.9%) at the ICU. Patients admitted at the IMCU had a median ISS of 17 (11, 22). Their median duration of admission was 32.8 hours (18.8, 62.5). At the IMCU, one patient died due to aneurogenic shock. A subsequent ICU transfer was required in 38 (5.6%) IMCU admissions. Of these transfers, four patients died due to neurological deterioration. At the ICU, the median ISS was 22 (14, 30). Nearly all (n=620, 96.3%) ICU trauma patients required mechanical ventilation. Expected total cost savings due to the presence of the IMCU were US$1 772 785.

DISCUSSION: A substantial amount of trauma patients in need of critical care can safely be admitted at the IMCU, without the need for further mechanical ventilation. Thereby, the IMCU could fulfill an essential cost-saving role in the management of severely injured trauma patients.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000228
JournalTrauma Surgery and Acute Care Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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