Purpose: To evaluate differences in the characteristics and outcomes of intensive care unit (ICU) patients over time. Methods: We reviewed all epidemiological data, including comorbidities, types and severity of organ failure, interventions, lengths of stay and outcome, for patients from the Sepsis Occurrence in Acutely ill Patients (SOAP) study, an observational study conducted in European intensive care units in 2002, and the Intensive Care Over Nations (ICON) audit, a survey of intensive care unit patients conducted in 2012. Results: We compared the 3147 patients from the SOAP study with the 4852 patients from the ICON audit admitted to intensive care units in the same countries as those in the SOAP study. The ICON patients were older (62.5 Â± 17.0 vs. 60.6 Â± 17.4 years) and had higher severity scores than the SOAP patients. The proportion of patients with sepsis at any time during the intensive care unit stay was slightly higher in the ICON study (31.9 vs. 29.6%, p = 0.03). In multilevel analysis, the adjusted odds of ICU mortality were significantly lower for ICON patients than for SOAP patients, particularly in patients with sepsis [OR 0.45 (0.35â0.59), p < 0.001]. Conclusions: Over the 10-year period between 2002 and 2012, the proportion of patients with sepsis admitted to European ICUs remained relatively stable, but the severity of disease increased. In multilevel analysis, the odds of ICU mortality were lower in our 2012 cohort compared to our 2002 cohort, particularly in patients with sepsis.
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