Background: Appropriate utilization of intensive care unit (ICU) beds are essential. Patients with critical illness who have do not resuscitate (DNR) have a reduced priority of intensive care. However, the possibility of recovery/survival is ambiguous and multifactorial. Objective: To deliberate the characteristics and outcomes of critical illness in patients with prior DNR who were admitted to the emergency department (ED)-ICU. Method: This was a retrospective cohort study conducted between April 2015 and November 2015 in a university-based hospital. Non-traumatic patients with DNR admitted to ED-ICU from ED were included. Results: Seventy-eight non-trauma patients with prior DNR status were included in the final analysis. 51.3% (40/78) patients were male with median age 83 (IQR: 75–89) years. The median APACHE II score was 24.5 (IQR: 20–30). 50% (39/78) of the DNR patients survived to discharge. Patients who survived to discharge had lower APACHE II score (23 (IQR: 20–28) vs. 28 (18–38), p = 0.028). There was no significant difference in age, gender, and Charlson index. ROC curves were constructed, generating a cut-off of the APACHE II score at 29.5 for determining survival to discharge (AUC = 0.644, p = 0.028). In multivariate Cox proportional model, APACHE II score above 29.5 was an independent predictor for mortality. (Hazard ratio = 2.46; 95% confidence interval: 1.04–5.83, p = 0.042). Conclusions: Our study found that 50% of patients with prior DNR on ICU admission survived to discharge, indicating that aggressive care is not definitely futile. Further prospective studies are required to evaluate the cost-effectiveness and patients’ and/or families’ satisfaction of the ICU admission of DNR patients.
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