Intensive Care Used More in US Than England

28 October 2009 (Last Updated October 28th, 2009 18:30)

Patients who die in the US are five times more likely to have spent their last hours in an intensive care unit compared to their counterparts in England, according to a new study. The study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine compared rec

Patients who die in the US are five times more likely to have spent their last hours in an intensive care unit compared to their counterparts in England, according to a new study.

The study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine compared records of 493,054 patients who died in 2001 in England with those of 704,028 patients who died in 2001 in the US.

Researchers found that 47.1% of all hospital deaths in the US involved intensive care compared to only 10.1% in England.

Intensive care use was greater for those aged over 85 years, with 31.5% of medical deaths and 61% of surgical deaths in the US compared to just 1.9% and 8.5%, respectively, of deaths in England.