The Vital Sign Clinicians Should be Monitoring to Save More Lives in the ICU

By Medline Newsroom Staff | July 10, 2019

A recent study indicates that early intervention in intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) can reduce mortality rates for critical care patients. However, many healthcare professionals are not able to regularly measure intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) because traditional methods require complex set ups and may require a closed drainage system, putting patients at risk of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI).

“If you’re unaware of a patient’s intra-abdominal pressure measurement and are not following it or actively managing it, you’re going to miss those patients with intra-abdominal hypertension and, consequently, that can have a negative impact on their outcome,” says Gregory J. Schears, M.D. Consultant, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota.

According to the study, nearly 50% of all intensive care unit (ICU) patients have IAH and both IAH and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) are independent predictors of mortality; 67% of patients diagnosed with ACS face mortality at 28 days and 75% at 90 days.

Medline is collaborating with leading critical care physicians to drive awareness around the urgent need for health systems to monitor IAP as a vital sign in ICU patients to minimize and prevent IAH. IAH can lead to organ dysfunction and if untreated, can progress to ACS.

Nearly 6 million patients seek treatment in ICUs across the United States and face a 10-29% mortality rate.

“Just like the head when we think about increased intra-cranial pressure and trying to optimize cerebral perfusion pressure, we must grasp the concept of intra-abdominal pressure and how we can optimize abdominal perfusion pressure if we are going to reduce the probability of hepatic, intestinal, renal injury from increased IAP,” says Schears.

Over the past few decades, patient survival rates have increased through improved technological innovations, diagnosis, and multidisciplinary management made possible by systems such as Medline’s Accuryn critical care monitoring system.

“Accurate data is critical to understanding trends in patient conditions so clinicians can react in real time. In some cases, monitoring additional vital signs can give care teams an advantage in fighting disease, illness, and other conditions that can impact a patient’s ability to live,” says Mary Pat Eble, MSN, RN, and clinical product specialist at Medline.

For more information on Accuryn, visit

Categories: Infection Prevention, Perioperative

Medline Newsroom Staff

Medline Newsroom Staff

Medline's newsroom staff researches and reports on the latest news and trends in healthcare.

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