Medline ® Abstract for Reference 32
of 'Palliative care: Medically futile and potentially inappropriate therapies of questionable benefit'
A comparison of predictive outcomes of APACHE II and SAPS II in a surgical intensive care unit.
McNelis J, Marini C, Kalimi R, Jurkiewicz A, Ritter G, Nathan I
Am J Med Qual. 2001;16(5):161.
The Acute Physiologic Score and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II and the Simplified Acute Physiologic Scale (SAPS) II are two of the more commonly employed predictors of outcome and performance in the intensive care unit setting. However, controversy persists about whether the scores generated by these systems have similar predictive value. This study compared the predicted mortalities derived from APACHE II and SAPS II and contrasted them to the actual mortality in a surgical intensive care unit (SICU). Data for 1665 patients admitted to the SICU between July 1994 and August 1997 were entered into an SICU computerized database. From recorded demographic, hemodynamic, and laboratory data, APACHE II and SAPS II scores were obtained with corresponding predicted mortalities. Patients were stratified by age into categories of less than and greater than 65 years old. Predicted mortalities by APACHE II and SAPS II were compared for each group. An additional analysis included a comparison of survivors and nonsurvivors. There was no significant difference in predicted mortality between APACHE II and SAPS II in any of the groups. Actual mortality was 30 of 486 (6.2%) in patients less than 65 years of age and 73 of 1179 (6.2%) in patients 65 years of age or greater. The APACHE II and SAPS II predicted mortalities (mean +/- SD) for patients less than 65 years of age were 10.5% +/- 10.6% and 10.9% +/- 13.3%, respectively (P>.05). The APACHE II and SAPS II predicted mortalities in patients 65 years of age or greater were 19.1% +/- 17.8% and 18.7% +/- 21.0%, respectively (P>.05). Similarly, when patients were stratified by survival status, no significant difference was present between groups. However, in individual patients, a difference between APACHE II and SAPS II scores was often present. We conclude that although disparities between APACHE II and SAPS II predicted mortalities in individual patients may be significant, APACHE II and SAPS II have similar predictive value in a large SICU patient population. However, both APACHE II and SAPS II systems overestimate mortality in SICU patients. Based on our results, we conclude that either system can be used to measure quality of care in the SICU; however, neither system can be reliably applied to a single patient.
Department of Surgery, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Section of Critical Care/Metabolism, 270-05 76th Ave, New Hyde Park, NY 11040, USA.