Background: Patients with paraquat poisoning (PP) have a mortality rate comparable to that of advanced malignancies, yet palliative care is seldom considered in these patients. This audit aimed to identify triggers for early palliative care referral in critically ill patients with PP. Methods: Medical records of patients with PP were audited. Predictors of mortality within 48 hours of hospitalization and 24 hours of intensive care unit (ICU) admission were considered as triggers for palliative care referral. Results: Among 108 patients, 84 complete records were analyzed, and 53 out of 84 (63.1%) expired. Within 48 hours after hospitalization, the lowest oxygen partial pressure in arterial blood to a fraction of inspired oxygen [the ratio of partial pressure of oxygen in arterial blood (PaO2) to the fraction of inspiratory oxygen concentration (FiO2) (PaO2/FiO2)] was the independent predictor of mortality, cut-off ≤ 197; the area under the curve (AUC), 0.924; sensitivity, 97%; specificity, 78%; p <0.001; and 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.878–0.978. Kaplan–Meier survival plot showed that the mean survival time of patients with the lowest PaO2/FiO2, ≤197, was 4.64 days vs 17.20 days with PaO2/FiO2 >197 (log–rank p < 0.001). Sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score within 24 hours of ICU admission had a cut-off ≥9; AUC, 0.980; p < 0.001; 95% CI: 0.955–1.000; 91% sensitivity; and 90% specificity for mortality prediction. Out of the total of 84 patients with PP analyzed, there were 11 patients admitted to the high dependency units (13.1%) and 73 patients admitted to the ICU (86.9%). Out of the total of 84 patients of PP in whom data was analyzed, 53 (63.1%) patients required ventilator support. All the 53 patients who required ventilator support due to worsening hypoxemia, eventually expired. Conclusion: The lowest PaO2/FiO2 ≤ 197 within 48 hours of hospitalization, SOFA score ≥9 within 24 hours of ICU admission or need for mechanical ventilation are predictors of mortality in PP patients, who might benefit from early palliative care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-460
Number of pages8
JournalIndian Journal of Critical Care Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 05-2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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