Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 44, Issue 8, pp 1249–1257 | Cite as

Health-related outcomes of critically ill patients with and without sepsis

  • Kelly ThompsonEmail author
  • Colman Taylor
  • Stephen Jan
  • Qiang Li
  • Naomi Hammond
  • John Myburgh
  • Manoj Saxena
  • Balasubramanian Venkatesh
  • Simon Finfer



To determine differences in health-related quality of life (HRQoL), survival and healthcare resource use of critically ill adults with and without sepsis.


We conducted a primary propensity score matched analysis of patients with and without sepsis enrolled in a large multicentre clinical trial. Outcomes included HRQoL at 6 months, survival to 2 years, length of ICU and hospital admission and cost of ICU and hospital treatment to 2 years.


We obtained linked data for 3442 (97.3%) of 3537 eligible patients and matched 806/905 (89.0%) patients with sepsis with 806/2537 (31.7%) without. After matching, there were no significant differences in the proportion of survivors with and without sepsis reporting problems with mobility (37.8% vs. 38.7%, p = 0.86), self-care (24.7% vs. 26.0%, p = 0.44), usual activities (44.5% vs. 46.8%, p = 0.28), pain/discomfort (42.4% vs. 41.6%, p = 0.54) and anxiety/depression (36.9% vs. 37.7%, p = 0.68). There was no significant difference in survival at 2 years: 482/792 (60.9%) vs. 485/799 (60.7%) (HR 1.01, 95% CI 0.86–1.18, p = 0.94). The initial ICU and hospital admission were longer for patients with sepsis: 10.1 ± 11.9 vs. 8.0 ± 9.8 days (p < 0.0001) and 22.8 ± 21.2 vs. 19.1 ± 19.0 days, (p = 0.0003) respectively. The cost of ICU admissions was higher for patients with sepsis: A$43,345 ± 46,263 (€35,109 ± 35,043) versus 34,844 ± 38,281 (€28,223 ± 31,007), mean difference $8501 (€6885), 95% CI $4342–12,660 (€3517 ± 10,254), p < 0.001 as was the total cost of hospital treatment to 2 years: A$74,120 ± 60,750 (€60,037 ± 49,207) versus A$65,806 ± 59,856 (€53,302 ± 48,483), p = 0.005.


Critically ill patients with sepsis have higher healthcare resource use and costs but similar survival and HRQoL compared to matched patients without sepsis.


Sepsis Post-sepsis syndrome Post-intensive care syndrome Long-term outcomes 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

134_2018_5274_MOESM1_ESM.docx (255 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 254 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature and ESICM 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelly Thompson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Colman Taylor
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stephen Jan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qiang Li
    • 1
  • Naomi Hammond
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • John Myburgh
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  • Manoj Saxena
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  • Balasubramanian Venkatesh
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
    • 7
  • Simon Finfer
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.The George Institute for Global HealthSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Sydney Medical SchoolUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  4. 4.Malcolm Fisher Department of Intensive Care MedicineRoyal North Shore HospitalSydneyAustralia
  5. 5.St George Clinical SchoolUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  6. 6.The Princess Alexandra HospitalUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  7. 7.The Wesley HospitalBrisbaneAustralia

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