Clinical characteristics associated with days to discharge among patients admitted with a primary diagnosis of lower limb cellulitis

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Abstract

Background

Clinicians have limited ability to classify risk of prolonged hospitalization among patients with lower limb cellulitis.

Objective

We sought to identify characteristics associated with days to discharge and prolonged stay.

Methods

We conducted retrospective cohort analysis including patients admitted with a primary diagnosis of lower limb cellulitis at community and tertiary hospitals.

Results

There were 4224 admissions for lower limb cellulitis among 3692 patients. Mean age of the cohort was 64.4 years. Frequencies of tobacco smoking, obesity, and diabetes mellitus were 25.1%, 44.9%, and 19.3%, respectively. Patients having decreased likelihood of discharge included those with the following: 10-year age increments 0.90 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.88-0.92), obesity 0.90 (95% CI 0.83-0.97), diabetes mellitus 0.90 (95% CI 0.82-0.98), tachycardia 0.76 (95% CI 0.67-0.85), hypotension 0.77 (95% CI 0.65-0.90), leukocytosis 0.86 (95% CI 0.79-0.93), neutrophilia 0.80 (95% CI 0.73-0.87), elevated serum creatinine 0.74 (95% CI 0.68-0.81), and low serum bicarbonate 0.84 (95% CI 0.75-0.95).

Limitations

This analysis is retrospective and based on coded data. Unknown confounding variables may also influence prolonged stay.

Conclusions

Patients with lower limb cellulitis and prolonged stay have a number of clinical characteristics which may be used to classify risk for prolonged stay.

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