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Critical Care

, 5:100

First Online: 01 February 2001Received: 05 May 2000Revised: 21 December 2000Accepted: 04 January 2001


BackgroundAccessibility to tertiary intensive care resources differs among hospitals within a rural region. Determining whether accessibility is associated with outcome is important for understanding the role of regionalization when providing critical care to a rural population.

MethodsIn a prospective design, we identified and recorded the mortality ratio, percentage of unanticipated deaths, length of stay in the intensive care unit ICU, and survival time of 147 patients transferred directly from other hospitals and 178 transferred from the wards within a rural tertiary-care hospital.

ResultsThe two groups did not differ significantly in the characteristics measured. Differences in access to tertiary critical care in this rural region did not affect survival or length of stay after admission to this tertiary ICU. The odds ratio 1.14; 95% confidence interval 0.72-1.83 for mortality associated with transfer from a rural community hospital was not statistically significant.

ConclusionsPatients at community hospitals in this area who develop need for tertiary critical care are just as likely to survive as patients who develop ICU needs on the wards of this rural tertiary-care hospital, despite different accessibility to tertiary intensive-care services.

Keywordsdecision-making interhospital transport rural health services survival analysis  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Stephen D Surgenor - Howard L Corwin - Terri Clerico


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