Patient Death More Likely in Crowded Hospitals: Study

Results of a new study suggest that patients are more likely to die in a crowded hospital than in one that has less occupancy.  

The mortality risk study, published in the March issue of the journal Medical Care, was conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan. The researchers looked at a number of factors that could affect the risk of dying in a hospital, including occupancy, nurse staffing levels, seasonal influenza and weekend admissions.

According to data gleaned from 166,920 patients admitted to 39 hospitals in Michigan over a three year period, patients in crowded hospitals have a 5.6% higher risk of death than patients in hospitals with low occupancy levels. But researchers said there appears to be no specific occupancy level where there is a clear jump in mortality, and the amount of crowding which results in increased mortality appears to vary from one hospital to another.

Did You Know?

Millions of Philips CPAP Machines Recalled

Philips DreamStation, CPAP and BiPAP machines sold in recent years may pose a risk of cancer, lung damage and other injuries.

Learn More

Researchers also found that having higher nursing staff levels decreased the risk of death by 6%, being admitted on a weekend increased the risk of death by 7.5 percent, and being admitted during flu season increases the risk of death by 11.7 percent.

This latest study follows the results of emergency room delay research published in November 2009 in the Archives of Internal Medicine that found that delays in treatment are worsening as hospital emergency rooms are becoming more and more crowded. The study found that just over 75% of patients being seen within the recommended time frame, and also determined that the number of patients being seen in a timely manner is decreasing by about 0.8 percent every year.

Delays could have a ripple effect, resulting in higher rates of morbidity and mortality in hospitals.


"*" indicates required fields

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Have Your Comments Reviewed by a Lawyer

Provide additional contact information if you want an attorney to review your comments and contact you about a potential case. This information will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

Bard Argues Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Previously Selected for Bellwether Trials Are No Longer
Bard Argues Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Previously Selected for Bellwether Trials Are No Longer "Representative" (Posted 5 days ago)

Bard claims two cases selected for the third and fourth bellwether trials are no longer representative of the litigation due to the plaintiffs' worsening injuries and need for additional surgeries due to their failed hernia mesh products.