Open Access Research article

Outcomes of prolonged mechanic ventilation: a discrimination model based on longitudinal health insurance and death certificate data

Hsin-Ming Lu1, Likwang Chen12*, Jung-Der Wang345, Mei-Chuan Hung3, Ming-Shian Lin6, Yuan-Horng Yan6, Cheng-Ren Chen6, Po-Sheng Fan6, Lynn Chu Huang1 and Ken N Kuo1

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Population Health Sciences, National Health Research Institutes, 35 Keyan Road, Zhunan, Taiwan

2 Institute of Public Health, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, No.155, Sec.2, Linong Street, Taipei, Taiwan

3 Institute of Occupational Medicine and Industrial Hygiene, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, No 17, Xuzhou Road, Taipei, Taiwan

4 Department of Public Health, National Cheng Kung University College of Medicine, No.1, University Road, Tainan, Taiwan

5 Departments of Internal Medicine and Environmental and Occupational Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, No.138, Sheng Li Road, Tainan, Taiwan

6 Department of Internal Medicine, Chia-Yi Christian Hospital, 539 Jhongsiao Road, Chiayi, Taiwan

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BMC Health Services Research 2012, 12:100  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-100

Published: 25 April 2012



This study investigated prognosis among patients under prolonged mechanical ventilation (PMV) through exploring the following issues: (1) post-PMV survival rates, (2) factors associated with survival after PMV, and (3) the number of days alive free of hospital stays requiring mechanical ventilation (MV) care after PMV.


This is a retrospective cohort study based on secondary analysis of prospectively collected data in the national health insurance system and governmental data on death registry in Taiwan. It used data for a nationally representative sample of 25,482 patients becoming under PMV (> = 21 days) during 1998-2003. We calculated survival rates for the 4 years after PMV, and adopted logistic regression to construct prediction models for 3-month, 6-month, 1-year, and 2-year survival, with data of 1998-2002 for model estimation and the 2003 data for examination of model performance. We estimated the number of days alive free of hospital stays requiring MV care in the immediate 4-year period after PMV, and contrasted patients who had low survival probability with all PMV patients.


Among these patients, the 3-month survival rate was 51.4%, and the 1-year survival rate was 31.9%. Common health conditions with significant associations with poor survival included neoplasm, acute and unspecific renal failure, chronic renal failure, non-alcoholic liver disease, shock and septicaemia (odd ratio < 0.7, p < 0.05). During a 4-year follow-up period for patients of year 2003, the mean number of days free of hospital stays requiring MV was 66.0 in those with a predicted 6-month survival rate < 10%, and 111.3 in those with a predicted 2-year survival rate < 10%. In contrast, the mean number of days was 256.9 in the whole sample of patients in 2003.


Neoplasm, acute and unspecific renal failure, shock, chronic renal failure, septicemia, and non-alcoholic liver disease are significantly associated with lower survival among PMV patients. Patients with anticipated death in a near future tend to spend most of the rest of their life staying in hospital using MV services. This calls for further research into assessing PMV care need among patients at different prognosis stages of diseases listed above.