Study: ICU type impacts lung injury survival rates

A new study found that acute lung injury patients were less likely to die if treated in a "closed" ICU requiring board-certified critical care doctors to oversee care. The study, which was published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, looked at 1,075 patients cared for in 22 ICUs at 16 Seattle-area hospitals. It concluded that closed-ICU lung injury patients had a 35 percent death rate while open-ICU patients had a 45 percent death rate.

At present, about 25 percent of ICUs in the U.S. are closed. The study's authors said that they're not yet clear whether the improved lung injury death rates found in the study were due to the use of highly specialized physicians or higher staffing ratios.

To find out more about the study:
- read this HealthDay News piece

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