Intensive care is all about round the clock care – and you’d think they would be just as busy during the day and the night. Interesting news from the MJA then – patients who come after hours are sicker, and unfortunately are more likely to do worse than those during the day.
This article looks at over 245,000 patients over 9 years, and on average, mortality rates were about 3% higher if you were admitted after hours or on weekends. About half of the patients came in during regular hours. There’s a nice little graph in there which shows the severity of illness (denoted by APACHE score) together with the time of day.
Basically, there are more admissions during the day, they are just not as unwell – as you would expect with some of those being accounted for by elective surgical patients. After hours, there aren’t as many admissions, but obviously the vast majority are unplanned, meaning they are usually much more unwell.
It’s long been suspected and now proved – getting sick after dark is a bad idea, even in ICU. Read the article over here.