In the UK, 160,000 critically ill patients are admitted annually to an Intensive Care Unit. Mortality rates in hospital are about 20% and survivors of critical illness have increased mortality, morbidity (physical, cognitive and psychological), and social care needs in the 5 years following discharge. Treating critically ill patients represents a substantial burden on individuals, caregivers, and society. The effect of critical illness is particularly severe in older ICU survivors who suffer a prolonged and persistent decline in both cognitive and physical function. With the UK population ageing, critical illness will become increasingly costly for patients, the NHS and the wider social care system in the next 10 years. Therefore, additional novel therapeutic improvements are urgently needed.
The overall aim for the UK arm of VITDALIZE is to conduct a large international randomised controlled trial to determine if treatment with a high dose of vitamin D improves patient outcomes and is cost-effective, in comparison to placebo in severely vitamin D deficient (VDD) critically ill patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU).
Dr Dhruv Parekh