Friday, March 23, 2012

ICU Bed Shortages

According to an article from Reuters, a study performed in France has discovered that more seriously ill patients can die when there is a shortage of beds in intensive care units.  

The study found that over the span of three months, 15 percent of the 1,332 patients referred to the hospitals’ ICUs were turned away, all because there were no available beds. The focus was on 10 hospitals in western France.  

In some cases, people were turned away because they did not look or seem “sick enough.” All of the patients who had been turned away had a higher risk of dying than those who got into the ICU right away.  

According to the study, 33 percent of patients who were turned away died within the next 60 days, versus 27 percent of those who were admitted into the ICU immediately.  

There were 193 patients who were turned away from the ICU in this study because of bed shortages. Later on, the majority were later admitted. However, 65 patients were never admitted.  

The study suggests that the shortage of ICU beds is leading to preventable deaths.

Snyder and Wenner, P.C.

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