About this release

This is the third release by Public Health Scotland on data from the Scottish Intensive Care Society Audit Group (SICSAG) relating to patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) and high dependency units (HDUs) across Scotland with COVID-19.

Main points

During the period 1 March 2020 to 20 June 2020

  • There were 537 admissions to ICUs in Scotland relating to 521 patients with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 disease.
Image caption Number of ICU admissions with COVID-19
Figure 1. Bar chart showing ICU admissions with COVID-19  Figure 1 is a bar chart covering the period from 01 March 2020 to 20 June 2020. The  bar chart shows 537 admissions. The first ICU admission was on 11 March. The peak period was  between 29 March 2020 and 06 April 2020, with the highest number of 29 admissions on 29 March.
  • The groups with the highest number of admissions included those aged 60-69, males, and those living in socially deprived areas.
  • Mortality measured at 30-days after ICU admission was 39%, and was higher in those receiving advanced respiratory support, in those with comorbidities and in the oldest age group.
  • There were 214 patients with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 disease admitted to HDUs. These patients were older and had more comorbidity than patients admitted to ICUs. However, 30-day mortality was lower in HDU patients (25%) compared with ICU patients.
  • There has been a 2.5-fold increase in patients admitted to ICUs with pulmonary embolism, and an almost 50% reduction in patients admitted with cardiac arrest, septic shock and acute myocardial infarction.

Background

The Scottish Intensive Care Society Audit Group (SICSAG) is the national adult critical care audit and quality assurance programme. It benefits from a close collaboration between the Scottish Intensive Care Society and Public Health Scotland. The audit has complete, national coverage of all admissions to intensive care units (ICUs) and combined critical care units in Scotland. Since 1995, the national audit has informed healthcare professionals, the public and Scottish Government about the activity, interventions and outcomes of over 45,000 critically ill patients who are treated each year in Scotland.

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, SICSAG has transformed its systems to provide daily data to inform the response to the pandemic across Scotland. This report describes the admission frequency, demographics, activity and outcomes for patients with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 disease admitted to Scottish units. It includes admissions to adult ICUs, combined intensive care/high dependency units, and areas of hospitals which have been repurposed to provide intensive care. In this report, the term ‘ICU’ refers to these three types of facility. This third report also includes admissions to standalone adult high dependency units (HDUs), as well as areas of hospitals which have been repurposed to provide high dependency care. However, not all repurposed HDUs were able to contribute data to the audit. The report does not include admissions to paediatric/neonatal ICUs and HDUs.

Further information

Further information is available from the SICSAG website (external website) and from the full report available at the top of this page.

The next release of this publication will be on an ad hoc basis.

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Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 28 June 2021
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