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VOLUME 25 , ISSUE 11 ( November, 2021 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Increased Length of Stay of Critically Ill Patients in the Emergency Department Associated with Higher In-hospital Mortality

Shakti Shishodia

Keywords : Emergency overcrowding, Mortality, Throughput

Citation Information : Shishodia S. Increased Length of Stay of Critically Ill Patients in the Emergency Department Associated with Higher In-hospital Mortality. Indian J Crit Care Med 2021; 25 (11):1221-1225.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-24018

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 16-11-2021

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2021; The Author(s).


Objectives: Emergency department (ED) length of stay (LOS) is defined as the time a patient is registered to the time the patient is shifted to a hospital bed or discharged. Increasing demand for quality emergency care has resulted in increased wait times due to demand and supply mismatch. It is perceived that longer LOS in the ED of critical patients leads to poor outcomes. Our goal was to study the impact of LOS in the ED on the patients who required critical care admissions. Methods: This was a retrospective study conducted in the ED of a tertiary center. Data were collected using electronic health records (EHR) for patients admitted to the intensive care units (ICUs). Patient's LOS in ED was divided into 0–4, 4–8, 8–12, 12–24, and >24 hours. ED LOS was calculated from the registration time to the time patient was handed over in the ICU. Patients were divided into four categories (1–4) based on their criticality. LOS in ED, mortality, and total hospital LOS were analyzed in the study. Results: Three thousand four hundred and twenty-nine patients were enrolled in the study. Mean age was 62.69 years (95% CI 62.11–63.26). A total of 42.09% (95% CI 40.5–43.8) were Category 1 patients. Overall mortality rate was 52.46% (95% CI 50.79–54.13). LOS of 48.15% (95% CI 46.54–49.88) patients in the ED was between 0 and 4 hours, 19.90% (95% CI 18.62–21.29) between 4 and 8 hours, 8.21% (95% CI 7.35–9.19) between 8 and 12 hours, 15.50% (95% CI 14.34–16.77) between 12 and 24 hours, and 8.13% (95% CI 7.27–9.10) >24 hours. Mortality for LOS of 0–4 hours was 51.30% (95% CI 48.89–53.70), 54.03% (95% CI 50.28–57.73) for 4–8 hours, 48.94% (95% CI 43.16–54.75) for 8–12 hours, 51.50% (95% CI 47.26–55.72) for 12–24 hours, and 60.57% (95% CI 54.73–66.13) for >24 hours. Conclusion: We concluded that the longer the critically ill patients are boarded in the ED, the higher is the chance for mortality. Processes should be implemented to ease the throughput from the ED.

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