Background: Although constipation occurs frequently in patients admitted in the ICU, its impact on their outcome has not been extensively studied. The aim of this study is to investigate the occurrence of constipation and its implications in patients admitted with a diagnosis of sepsis.
Materials and methods: This is a prospective observational study of adult patients admitted with sepsis to a tertiary care, referral ICU, over the period of 3 months between January and March 2019, and who stayed for three or more days. Patients with gastrointestinal bleed/disorders and those who undergone major gastrointestinal surgery and failure to start feed within 72 hours of ICU admission were excluded.
Results: Among the 61 septic patients, constipation occurred in 16 (26.2%) of the patients. Constipated and nonconstipated patients were equally matched in terms of gender (p = 0.082) or comorbidities. Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score (p = 0.001), duration of mechanical ventilation (p = 0.053), and ICU mortality (p = 0.011) were higher in the constipation group.
Conclusion: Monitoring the frequency of bowel movements in critically ill patients admitted with sepsis and the avoidance of constipation can decrease duration of mechanical ventilation and mortality rate in ICU.
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