- From 1997 to 2011, adult deaths in U.S. emergency rooms dropped by nearly 50%, Becker’s Infection Control & Clinical Quality reported.
- The finding comes from a study in the July issue of Health Affairs that looked at ER data on adults 18 and older over the period.
- Fueling the decline were improvements in emergency, prehospital and palliative and hospice care.
According to the report, mortality rates in emergency departments decreased 48% over the course of the study. The researchers said more patients may be surviving until they can be admitted as inpatients, but noted that there was no notable drop in inpatient deaths between 2005 and 2011.
Rather, improvements in prehospital resuscitation policies and emergency and palliative care, as well as improved access to quality care for Medicaid and Medicare patients, could be behind the decline.
In addition, improvements in emergency medicine and public health could help attribute to the decrease in ED adult deaths. As the authors noted, advances in acute management of life-threatening condition have been palpable.
The authors stated to their knowledge "there has been no previous national study evaluating longitudinal trends in ED mortality."