Overcrowding in Emergency Rooms Increase Death Risk among Patients

Overcrowding and long waits in emergency rooms lead to more patients dying or needing further hospital treatment, researchers have found.

In an analysis of more than 14 million patients in Canada, researchers found that hospital shifts with longer average waiting times were linked to a higher risk of patients dying, or returning to the hospital for more treatment, in the following seven days.

Cutting average waiting times by one hour would have saved more than 800 lives over the course of the study, the researchers estimated.

Among the sickest patients, spending six hours or more in the ER was linked to a 79 percent higher chance of dying during the next seven days, compared with staying less than an hour. For less  Continue reading