Acute Care Edinburgh

Scottish Intensive Care Society Audit Group Report on Covid-19

The Scottish Intensive Care Society Audit Group (SICSAG) is the national adult critical care audit and quality assurance programme and is chaired by Dr Naz Lone (Consultant at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and is a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Critical Care at the Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh).

sicsag graph

SICSAG benefits from a close collaboration between the Scottish Intensive Care Society and Public Health Scotland. The audit has complete, national coverage of all admissions to intensive care units (ICUs) and combined critical care units in Scotland. Since 1995, the national audit has informed healthcare professionals, the public and Scottish Government about the activity, interventions and outcomes of over 45,000 critically ill patients who are treated each year in Scotland.

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, SICSAG has transformed its systems to provide daily data to inform the response to the pandemic across Scotland. A new report describes the admission frequency, demographics, activity and outcomes for patients with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 disease admitted to Scottish units.

It includes admissions to adult ICUs, combined intensive care/high dependency units, and areas of hospital which have been repurposed to provide intensive care. The report does not include admissions to paediatric ICUs, neonatal ICUs or standalone high dependency units (HDUs).

Full report


Main points of the report as of 16th May 2020

  • During the period 1 March 2020 to 16 May 2020 there were 516 admissions to ICUs in Scotland relating to 504 patients with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 disease.
  • The peak period of patient admissions with COVID-19 to ICUs was between 29 March 2020 and 06 April 2020.
  • Mortality measured at 30-days after ICU admission was 38%, and was higher in those receiving advanced respiratory support, in those with comorbidities and in the oldest age group.
  • For patients who had completed their ICU stay, around 80% required advanced respiratory support, around 80% required cardiovascular support and around 30% required renal replacement therapy.
  • The baseline capacity for the most complex level of ICU care (level 3 care) was exceeded from 31 March 2020 to 24 April 2020. This activity peaked at 46% above baseline on 09 April 2020. This, however, remained substantially below the available capacity across Scotland.