After-hours discharge from ICU increases risk of death

Patients who are discharged from intensive care units (ICUs) after-hours have a higher chance of death than those discharged during the day.

Dr Dashiell Gantner used the data from 710,535 patients admitted to Australian and New Zealand ICUs between January 2005 and December 2012. The data collected included patient characteristics, time of ICU discharge, hospital deaths and ICU re-admissions.

The researchers found that 15.4% of ICU patients were discharged to general wards after-hours. Those discharged after hours had a 6.4% risk of death compared to 3.6% risk of death for patients discharged in-hours.

The results show there should be fewer after-hours discharges in Australian and Zealand hospitals.

Read more at Monash University