Name of Media:

Albumin Use Guidelines and Outcome in a Surgical Intensive Care Unit


Anthony Charles, MD; Maryanne Purtill, MD; Sharon Dickinson, RN, MSN, CCRN; Michael Kraft, PharmD; Melissa Pleva, PharmD; Craig Meldrum, BBA; Lena Napolitano, MD

Publisher or Source:

American Medical Association

Type of Media:

Medical Research

Media Originally for:

Critical Care Physicians, General Medical Professionals, Nurses and/or Other Critical Care Medical Professionals

Country of Origin:

United States

Primary Focus of Media:

Pre-Use of PICS Designation

COVID-19 Related:



Hypothesis: Restrictive albumin use guidelines in the surgical intensive care unit (SICU) will not increase mortality and will result in cost savings.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Setting: Tertiary teaching hospital.

Patients: All patients admitted to the SICU from July 1, 2004, through July 1, 2005, were included in this study.

Interventions: Patients in the first 3 quarters of the study were treated with no restriction on albumin use. An organized educational program was initiated by the new intensivist-led critical care team and directed toward the residents, nursing staff, and primary surgical teams. Appropriate albumin use guidelines were instituted in the last quarter.

Main Outcome Measures: Prospective clinical and outcome data were collected. Albumin use data and costs were obtained from the pharmacy prospective database.

Results :A total of 1361 patients were included in the study. A statistically significant reduction in albumin use (54%) was found in the fourth quarter (P=.004), and a substantial cost saving was realized (56% reduction in cost) with the albumin use guidelines. Restrictive use of albumin had no negative impact on ICU mortality. Mean Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation III scores on ICU day 1 were not different. No significant difference in mean ICU length of stay was noted. Maintained reduction in the use of albumin was documented during the next 6 quarters. Conclusions: The implementation of albumin use guidelines during critical care resuscitation using an educational approach in a SICU is associated with reduced albumin use, significant cost savings, and no negative impact on ICU outcome. Continued educational efforts promoting evidence-based practices in the ICU are warranted.
Arch Surg. 2008;143(10):935-939

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