Background: Assessment of patients and their outcomes in the 6-bed
High Dependency Unit (HDU) of our Pulmonary Department in the
Patients and methods: Retrospective study of patients’ records.
Results: A total of 158 patients, 101 men and 57 women, were
hospitalized. The majority of the patients were referred from the
Emergency Department (n=98), while from Intensive Care Unit
(ICU) and other Departments and Hospitals were referred 35 and 25
respectively. 111 patients were discharged from HDU, 22 were sent
to ICU, 4 to other clinics and 21 eventually died. For 70 patients the
reason for referral was type I respiratory failure attributed to pneumonia
in 26, pulmonary embolism in 6, various malignancies in 8 and massive
hemoptysis in 7 patients. Other aetiologies associated with type I
respiratory failure included bronchial asthma in 3, pulmonary fibrosis in
3, near-drowning in 2, pneumothorax in 1 and finally monitoring after
ICU in 14 patients. For type II respiratory failure were managed a total
of 88 patients, of whom 74 were treated for COPD, 12 for concomitant
COPD and cardiac failure and finally 2 for decompensated obesity
hypoventilation syndrome. 14 patients were hospitalized in our HDU
for tracheostomy management, in which tracheostomy was successfully
removed in 7 patients. 3 patients were eventually were sent back to
ICU, 1 patient was discharged at home with tracheostomy and finally 3
patients died. In patients who died the diagnosis were malignancies in
8 patients, severe infections in 6, pulmonary fibrosis in 2 and end-stage
COPD in 5 patients.
Conclusions: The contribution of HDU is very important for the
management of critically ill patients from different categories of diseases.
In general wards the intensive care standards recommended cannot be
guaranteed, something that is crucial especially for ICU patients and
patients with tracheostomy.