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Long-term physical outcome in patients with septic shock


Jesper Brøndum Poulsen
Intensive Care Unit 4131, Rigshospitalet
University of Copenhagen
Blegdamsvej 9
DK-2100 Copenhagen


Background: Limited information is available on physical function after septic shock. The aim of the present study was to assess the physical outcome in survivors 1 year after septic shock.

Methods: The outcome status of all 174 adult patients admitted to a mixed ICU with the diagnosis septic shock in a 1-year period was registered. Survivors were interviewed about physical function and socioeconomic status using a questionnaire including the Short Form-36 survey. The pre-ICU-admission Functional Comorbidity Index (FCI) was also registered.

Results: Of the 80 survivors, two were still hospitalised; thus, 78 were invited to participate and 70 replied (inclusion-rate 88%). Patients were followed up at median 351 days after hospital discharge. At follow-up the patients had a markedly reduced physical component summary score (PCS) compared with age- and sex-adjusted general population controls (36 vs. 47, P<0.0001). This was also observed in patients with no comorbidity before ICU admission (34 vs. 47, P<0.001). There was a negative correlation (r=−0.27, P=0.03) between pre-ICU-admission FCI values and the PCS at follow-up. According to 81% of the patients, loss of muscle mass was the main cause of decreased physical function. Only 43% (10 vs. 23, P=0.01) of the previously employed had returned to work, and the number of patients in need of home-based personal assistance had doubled (10/20, P=0.04).

Conclusion: Physical function is substantially reduced in survivors of septic shock 1 year after discharge.