ICU scoring systems

Various ICU scoring systems have evolved to provide:

• An index of disease severity, e.g. APACHE, SAPS.

• An index of workload and consumption of resources, e.g. TISS.

• A means of comparison for

• (i) Auditing performance — either in the same ICU or between ICUs.

• (ii) Research, e.g. evaluation of new products or treatment regimens.

• Patient management objectives, e.g. sedation, pressure area care.

Other than the Glasgow Coma Score, there is no universal system practised by every ICU. While APACHE is the predominant system used in the USA and UK for scoring disease severity, SAPS is more popular in mainland Europe. Interpretation of the same system can also be highly variable.

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