Background: From December 2015 until March 2016, an influenza epidemic occurred in the Netherlands. There was a remarkably high admission rate of young patients without comorbidities to our ICU. The severity of their symptoms and the admission rate in our ICU seemed even higher than during the influenza pandemic in 2009.
Methods: A retrospective observational study was conducted for all patients with a proven influenza infection in the ICU. Results: Twenty patients were included in the study, of whom 90% were infected with the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 strain. Patients were dominantly male and younger than 65 years. A high incidence of multi-organ failure (80%) and a high mortality rate (30%) was noticed in this atypical patient group. In contrast to the 2009 influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 outbreak, ileus and lung
bleeding were observed. Conclusion: Facing a new influenza pandemic each year, this article illustrates the possible fulminant outcome of influenza, even in young and relatively healthy patients. It raises awareness for certain symptoms and underlines the need for adequate preventive measures.
Back to issue - Download PDF