Introduction: Dermatology is usually thought of as an outpatient specialty with low mortality, however some skin conditions require intensive care. These conditions are relatively rare and hence are best studied using clinical databases or disease registries. We interrogated a large, high-quality clinical database from a national audit of adult intensive care units (ICUs), with the aim of identifying and characterising patients with dermatological conditions requiring admission to ICU. Methods: Data were extracted for 476,224 admissions to 178 ICUs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland participating in the Case Mix Programme over the time period December 1995 to September 2006. We identified admissions with dermatological conditions from the primary and secondary reasons for admission to ICU. Results: A total of 2,245 dermatological admissions were identified. Conditions included infectious conditions (e.g. cutaneous cellulitis, necrotising fasciitis), dermatological malignancies, and acute skin failure (e.g. toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome and autoimmune blistering diseases). These represent 0.47% of all ICU admissions, or approximately 2.1 dermatological admissions per ICU per year. Overall mortality was 28.1% in the ICU and 40.0% in hospital. Length of stay in intensive care was longest for those with acute skin failure (median 4.7 days for ICU survivors and 5.1 days for ICU non-survivors). Conclusion: We have identified patients who not only require intensive care, but also dermatological care. Such patients have high mortality rates and long ICU stays within the spectrum of the UK ICU population, similar to other acute medical conditions. This highlights the importance of skin failure as a distinct entity comparable to other organ system failures. © 2008 George et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
George, S. M. C., Harrison, D. A., Welch, C. A., Nolan, K. M., & Friedmann, P. S. (2008). Dermatological conditions in intensive care: A secondary analysis of the Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre (ICNARC) case mix programme database. Critical Care, 12(SUPPL. 1). https://doi.org/10.1186/cc6141