- Patients who remained in the emergency room before hospital admission were more likely to die
- Researchers have also found that hospital mortality increases when the emergency room is busy
- READ MORE: Here’s how long you can expect to live based on your current age
Patients who spend a night in the emergency room before being admitted to the hospital are more likely to die.
Researchers in France analyzed data from patients over 74 years of age from 97 emergency departments across the country between December 12 and 14, 2022.
They compared two groups: patients who were admitted directly to a hospital room before midnight and those who spent at least from midnight to 8 a.m. in the emergency room.
The researchers found that patients who spent the night in the emergency room had about a 40 percent higher risk of death in the hospital than patients who could be immediately placed in a room.
French researchers found that patients who stayed overnight in the emergency room had about a 40 percent higher risk of dying in the hospital than patients who were immediately admitted to the hospital.
Inpatient mortality within 30 days among people who spent a night in the emergency room was 15.7 percent compared with 11.1 percent in the group admitted to the hospital, the study found. , published in the magazine. JAMA Internal Medicinefound.
The researchers also looked at adverse events that occurred while in the emergency room and hospital.
They found that those who stayed in the ER were more likely to suffer falls, infections, bleeding, heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, bedsores and low sodium levels, which “partially explained” why patients were more likely to die.
The researchers attributed this in part to “a night on a hard cot and potentially insufficient monitoring and attention.”
The fact that patients are unable to sleep in the emergency room may also contribute, as lack of sleep is particularly dangerous in older people and can cause or increase memory loss, confusion or depression.
Patients most at risk were those who needed help with daily functions, the researchers said.
They concluded: “Older adults should be given priority when entering a room.”
An independent 2022 study also found that emergency room conditions contributed to hospital-wide mortality.
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University and the University of California, San Francisco found that the hospital-wide death rate was 5.4 percent higher on days when the emergency room was busy.
And because of a law called EMTALA (Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act), hospitals can’t turn anyone away, meaning patients can continue to fill emergency rooms even if there are no beds available.
Dr. Marc Siegel, clinical professor of medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center, which was not involved in the research, said Fox News Digital: ‘There are more things that can potentially go wrong with older adults in the emergency room.
‘Older patients may have less medical reserve and more comorbidities and may become stressed and disoriented more easily, which may worsen outcomes.
“It is also easier to detect additional medical problems in the hospital, including infections.”