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.