Pungkava Sricharoen 1 , Phichayut Phinyo 2 , 3 , * , Jayanton Patumanond 3 , Dilok Piyayotai 4 , Yuwares Sittichanbuncha 1 , Chaiyaporn Yuksen 1 , Khanchit Likittanasombat 5 , Ekpaiboon Cheuathonghua 1
27 August 2020
Background and objectives: Acute heart failure is a common problem encountered in the emergency department (ED). More than 80% of the patients with the condition subsequently require lengthy and repeated hospitalization. In a setting with limited in-patient capacity, the patient flow is often obstructed. Appropriate disposition decisions must be made by emergency physicians to deliver effective care and alleviate ED overcrowding. This study aimed to explore clinical predictors influencing the length of stay (LOS) in patients with acute heart failure who present to the ED. Materials and Methods: We conducted prognostic factor research with a retrospective cohort design. Medical records of patients with acute heart failure who presented to the ED of Ramathibodi Hospital from January to December 2015 were assessed for eligibility. Thirteen potential clinical predictors were selected as candidates for statistical modeling based on previous reports. Multivariable Poisson regression was used to estimate the difference in LOS between patients with and without potential predictors. Results: A total of 207 patients were included in the analysis. Most patients were male with a mean age of 74.2 ± 12.5 years. The median LOS was 54.6 h (Interquartile range 17.5, 149.3 h). From the multivariable analysis, four clinical characteristics were identified as independent predictors with an increase in LOS. These were patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class III/IV (+72.9 h, 95%Confidence interval (CI) 23.9, 121.8, p = 0.004), respiratory rate >24 per minute (+80.7 h, 95%CI 28.0, 133.3, p = 0.003), hemoglobin level <10 mg/dL (+60.4 h, 95%CI 8.6, 112.3, p = 0.022), and serum albumin <3.5 g/dL (+52.8 h, 95%CI 3.6, 102.0, p = 0.035). Conclusions: Poor NYHA functional class, tachypnea, anemia, and hypoalbuminemia are significant clinical predictors of patients with acute heart failure who required longer LOS.