Show Summary Details
Page of

Chronic critical illness 

Chronic critical illness
Chronic critical illness

Catherine L. Hough

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 27 January 2022

Chronic critical illness (CCI) is common and describes a state of prolonged critical illness, in which patients have persisting organ failures requiring treatment in an intensive care setting. There are many different definitions of CCI, with most including prolonged (> 96 hours) mechanical ventilation. Advanced age, higher severity of illness, and poor functional status prior to critical illness are all important risk factors, but prediction of CCI is imperfect. Although requirement for mechanical ventilation is the hallmark, CCI encompasses much more than the respiratory system, with effects on metabolism, skin, brain, and neuromuscular function. During CCI, patients have a high burden of symptoms and impaired capacity to communicate their needs. Mortality and quality of life are generally poor, but highly variable, with 1-year mortality over 50% and most survivors suffering permanent cognitive impairment and functional dependence. Patients at highest and lowest risk for mortality can be identified using a simple prediction rule. Caring for the chronically critically ill is a substantial burden both to patients’ families and to the health care system as a whole. Further research is needed in order to improve care and outcomes for CCI patients and their families.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.