Duration of Hospitalization
The mean (± SD) length of hospital stay among the entire group of 196 patients was 7.9 ± 10.9 days (range, one to 106 days). There was no significant difference in the mean duration of stay among patients receiving vs those not receiving echocardiograms during the first 24 hours of hospitalization (6.8 ±5.4 days vs 9.1 ± 14.9 days, respectively, p>.14). No specific clinical parameter served to predict whether a particular group of patients might benefit from the performance of echocardiography, as measured by the duration of their hospital stay. The mean duration of hospitalization, for example, did not significantly differ between the relatively sicker echo and control patients admitted to the critical care unit (7.4 ±5.3 days vs 18.6 ±28.1 days, respectively, p>.13), nor between echo and control patients not requiring intensive care (6.5 ±6.4 days vs 6.8±5.4 days, respectively, p=.74; Fig 2). The mean length of hospital stay was not significantly different whether patients carried an initial hospital diagnosis referable to cardiac or pulmonary disease, both, or neither (p>.l, Fig 3) or by the presence or absence of hospital admission physical findings (such as tachycardia, tachypnea, fever, cardiac, or pulmonary examination abnormalities) (p>.l) or laboratory abnormalities (hypoxemia, an abnormal chest roentgenogram or electrocardiogram) (p>.14). Six patients died during hospitalization. Four (67 percent) of the six deaths occurred in patients who received echocardiograms, and two deaths occurred in patients who did not undergo echocardiography (p>.4). buy diabetes drugs
Figure 2. The impact of echocardiography on length of hospitalization among all patients, critically ill patients requiring intensive care, and stable patients admitted to the general hospital ward. There were no differences in hospital stays between echo and control groups. Data are presented as mean ± 1 SD.
Figure 3. The impact of echocardiography on length of hospital stay in patients with cardiac, pulmonary, or other clinical diagnoses. There are no differences in hospital stay between echo and control groups. Data are presented as mean ± 1 SD.