Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med. 2020 Aug 17;28(1):82. doi: 10.1186/s13049-020-00777-y.
BACKGROUND: Elevated blood lactate levels were reported as useful predictors of clinical outcome and mortality in critically ill patients. To identify higher-risk patients, this investigation evaluated the relationship between patient mortality and admission lactate levels during the management of non-trauma critically ill patients in the emergency department (ED).
METHODS: In this prospective, single centre observational study in a German university ED, all adult patients who were admitted to the ED resuscitation room were evaluated between September 1, 2014 and August 31, 2015. Blood samples for blood gas analysis, including lactate levels, were obtained immediately at admission. Study endpoint was 30-day mortality.
RESULTS: During the study period, 532 patients were admitted to the resuscitation room of the ED. The data of 523 patients (98.3%) were available. The overall 30-day mortality was 34.2%. Patients presenting to the resuscitation room with admission lactate levels < 2.0 mmol/l had a 30-day mortality of 22.7%, while admission lactate levels above 8.0 mmol/l were associated with higher mortality (8.0-9.9 mmol/l: OR: 2.83, 95%CI: 1.13-7.11, p = 0.03, and ≥ 10 mmol/l: OR: 7.56, 95%CI: 4.18-13.77, p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: High lactate levels at admission are associated with an increased 24-h and 30-day mortality. These measurements may be used not only to predict mortality, but to help identify patients at risk for becoming critically ill. The breakpoint for mortality may be an ALL ≥8.0 mmol/l.