Table 2

Complications, clinical outcomes and treatment prescribed for adults hospitalised with influenza, 2007–2008 (n=754)

Complications and clinical outcomesn (%)
Complications, any*581 (77.1)
Cardiorespiratory complication (pneumonia, acute bronchitis, acute exacerbation of underlying chronic respiratory conditions, heart failure, acute coronary syndrome, arrhythmia and acute cerebrovascular events)493 (65.4)
Secondary bacterial infection68 (9.0)
Supplemental oxygen required401 (53.2)
Ventilatory support required41 (5.4)
Direct discharge from acute hospitals562 (74.5)
Extended care in subacute hospitals165 (21.9)
Duration of hospitalisation >5 days319 (44.6)
Duration of hospitalisation >10 days177 (24.8)
Death during the same hospital stay§39 (5.2)
Treatment prescribed
Antiviral use (oseltamivir)395 (52.4)
Initiated ≤2 days from onset307 (40.7)
Initiated ≤4 days from onset377 (50.0)
Early discontinuation of antiviral7 (1.8)
Antibacterial693 (91.9)
  • * Patients may have ≥1 complication (see text).19 25 26 Other complications include syncope/presyncope, dehydration, renal impairment, decreased conscious level, confusion and metabolic disturbances (158 episodes).

  • Sputum culture confirmed bacterial infection (Streptococcus pneumoniae 8. Staphylococcus aureus 8, Haemophilus influenzae 15, Moraxella catarrhalis 2, Pseudomonas aeruginosa 18, Klebsiella spp. 10, other Gram-negative bacilli 7, other Gram-positive cocci 3; mixed infection in a few cases) at presentation. Another 28 (3.7%) patients developed nosocomial infection (P aeruginosa, Acinectobacter spp., other resistant enterobacteriaceae, methicillin-resistant S aureus). The bacterial pathogen was identified in 31% of fatal cases (community-acquired 5, nosocomial 8). Antibacterials were given according to standard recommendations.19 48

  • Intubated and received mechanical ventilation, or non-invasive ventilatory support.

  • § Death due to all causes during the same period of hospitalisation. 35 patients died within the first 3 weeks of hospitalisation.

  • Reasons for discontinuation of oseltamivir treatment (other than death): vomiting 1, dizziness 1, cannot tolerate oral medication 2, confusion in patients with underlying dementia/schizophrenia 3.