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No short-term harm from quicker ICU discharge

The effect on patients when ICUs are busy and nearing capacity was studied in this large-scale analysis of over 200,000 adults discharged from 155 ICUs to hospital  floors between 2001 and 2008.  When ICUs became strained, physicians were more likely to discharge patients to the floors more quickly–with shorter ICU length of stay.  This resulted in a very small likelihood that these patients would be readmitted to ICU.  However, overall, there was little adverse effect observed on patients in the short term.  Longer term outcomes were not assessed in this study.

Source: Wagner, J., Gabler, N.B., and others.  Outcomes among patients discharged from busy intensive care units.  Annals of Internal Medicine;159(7):447-455, Oct. 1, 2013.  Click here for access to article (for purchase): http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1742592  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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