Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVES: To derive outcome-based critical result thresholds in the adult patient population. METHODS: We extracted deidentified laboratory results and outcomes (death or discharged) of patients 18 years and older from the Medical Information Mart for Intensive Care database. The lower and upper critical result thresholds were obtained from the nearest minimum and maximum laboratory values, which corresponded to predicted probability of death at 90%. RESULTS: The critical value thresholds were sodium (<123, >153 mmol/L), potassium (<2.2, >6.6 mmol/L), bicarbonate (<15, >49 mmol/L), chloride (<82, >121 mmol/L), urea (>20 mmol/L), creatinine (>1,052 μmol/L), glucose (<1.5, >23.8 mmol/L), total calcium (<1.62, >2.95 mmol/L), magnesium (<0.37, >1.48 mmol/L), phosphate (<0.19, >2.52 mmol/L), pH (<7.22, >7.57), lactate (>5.0 mmol/L), hemoglobin (<4.6 g/dL), WBCs (>32 × 103/μL), prothrombin time (>90 seconds), and international normalized ratio (>10). CONCLUSIONS: The indirect approach described in this study is a pragmatic way to obtain threshold values that are clinically and operationally meaningful.

Original publication




Journal article


Am j clin pathol

Publication Date





177 - 184


Critical reporting, Critical results, Critical value, Panic value, Postanalytical, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Clinical Laboratory Techniques, Critical Care, Databases, Factual, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Young Adult