• A clinical study was undertaken to evaluate the ability of the APACHE (acute physiology and chronic health care) II system to predict the development of multiple organ failure syndrome and subsequent mortality. The study was conducted in a university general surgery intensive care unit using the admission APACHE II score. Over a 1-year period, 92 patients qualified for the study, 24 of whom survived, 69 of whom suffered multiple organ failure syndrome, and 68 of whom died. The APACHE II score did not predict the development of multiple organ failure syndrome or mortality with clinical utility and significantly underestimated the potential for the development of multiple organ failure syndrome. Factors that did predict the development of multiple organ failure syndrome and mortality were the time-dependent changes in the Pao2-to-fraction of inspired oxygen ratio and serum lactate, creatinine, and bilirubin levels. Better markers of cell injury are needed for use in decision making and quality assurance analysis in surgical patients.
(Arch Surg. 1990;125:519-522)