Objective: To determine whether a low Braden skin score (BSS), reflecting increased risk for skin pressure injury, would predict lower survival in cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) patients after adjustment for illness severity and comorbidities. Patients and Methods: This retrospective cohort study included consecutive unique adult patients admitted to a single tertiary care referral hospital CICU from January 1, 2007, through December 31, 2015, who had a BSS documented on CICU admission. The primary outcome was all-cause hospital mortality, using elastic net penalized logistic regression to determine predictors of hospital mortality. The secondary outcome was all-cause post-discharge mortality, using Cox proportional hazards models to determine predictors of post-discharge mortality. Results: The study included 9552 patients with a mean age of 67.4±15.2 years (3589 [37.6%] were females) and a hospital mortality rate of 8.3%. Admission BSS was inversely associated with hospital mortality (unadjusted odds ratio, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.68-0.72; P<.001; area under the receiver operator curve, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.78-0.82), with increased short-term mortality as a function of decreasing admission BSS. After adjustment for illness severity and comorbidities using multivariable analysis, admission BSS remained inversely associated with hospital mortality (adjusted odds ratio, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.85-0.92; P<.001). Among hospital survivors, admission BSS was inversely associated with post-discharge mortality after adjustment for illness severity and comorbidities (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.88-0. 90; P<.001). Conclusion: The admission BSS, a simple inexpensive bedside nursing assessment potentially reflecting frailty and overall illness acuity, was independently associated with hospital and post-discharge mortality when added to established multiparametric illness severity scores among contemporary CICU patients.
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