Epidemiology, clinical characteristics, and Outcomes of 4546 Adult Admissions to High-Dependency and ICUs in Kenya: A multicenter registry-based observational study.

Document Type



Anaesthesiology (East Africa)


OBJECTIVES: To describe clinical, management, and outcome features of critically ill patients admitted to ICUs and high-dependency units (HDUs) in Kenya.

DESIGN: Prospective registry-based observational study.

SETTING: Three HDUs and eight ICUs in Kenya.

PATIENTS: Consecutive adult patients admitted between January 2021 and June 2022.


MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Data were entered in a cloudbased platform using a common data model. Study endpoints included casemix variables, management features, and patient-centered outcomes. Patients with COVID-19 were reported separately. Of the 3892 of 4546 patients without COVID-19, 2445 patients (62.8%) were from HDUs, and 1447 patients (37.2%) were from ICUs. Patients had a median age of 53 years (interquartile range [IQR] 38–68), with HDU patients being older but with a lower severity (Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II 6 [3–9] in HDUs vs. 12 [7–17] in ICUs; p < 0.001). One in four patients was postoperative with 604 (63.4%) receiving emergency surgery. Readmission rate was 4.8%. Hypertension and diabetes were prevalent comorbidities, with a 4.0% HIV/AIDS rate. Invasive mechanical ventilation was applied in 3.4% in HDUs versus 47.6% in ICUs (p < 0.001), with a duration of 7 days (IQR 3–21). There was a similar use of renal replacement therapy (4.0% vs. 4.7%; p < 0.001). Vasopressor use was infrequent while half of patients received antibiotics. Average length of stay was 2 days (IQR 1–5). Crude HDU mortality rate was 6.5% in HDUs versus 30.5% in the ICUs (p < 0.001). Of the 654 COVID-19 admissions, most were admitted in ICUs (72.3%) with a 33.2% mortality.

CONCLUSIONS: We provide the first multicenter observational cohort study from an African ICU National Registry. Distinct management features and outcomes characterize HDU from ICU patients.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Critical Care Explorations