The latest Annual Report for the Critically Ill (published 26th August, Welsh Government) provides indicators of the progress being made in the provision of critical care across Wales, but also some of the challenges we face.
Survival to ICU discharge (83%) , readmission rates (<1%) and transfer for non-clinical reasons (83 pa) have improved compared with earlier reports.
However, Wales has among the very lowest number of critical care beds per capita in Europe (5.9 per 100,000) and use of those beds is compromised by an inability within Health Boards to move recovered patients on to the general ward in a timely way: 66% patients were discharged more than 4 hours after decision to discharge and nearly 150,000 critical care bed hours lost through delayed transfer of care (equivalent to nearly 17 critical care beds).
The report also highlights concerns over workforce deficiencies and the challenge of meeting a rising demand for critical care services.
Identification of episodes of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in Wales is the subject of a paper published in Frontiers in Microbiology this month.
The work, a collaboration between WICS members and the Welsh Healthcare Associated Infection Programme (hosted by Public Health Wales), describes the clinical, microbiological and radiological evidence of infection present when ICU clinicians commence antibiotic therapy in invasively ventilated patients for suspected respiratory infection. The paper highlights that variability in chest x-ray performance appears to be an important limitation of current European surveillance methods for identifying VAP.
We are extremely grateful for the support of our ICU colleagues in conducting this work.
This year’s WITS Annual Meeting will be held at the SWALEC stadium, Cardiff on 30th September
The theme will be Neurosurgery and ICU with presentations by expert local and national speakers. There will also be prizes for best two trainee presentations.
WITS programme details here
Attendance fee £25 for WICS members and £35 for non-members (current annual membership for trainees only £10!)
To reserve your place and for more details please contact Caz Burford (firstname.lastname@example.org).