A recent study discovered that critical patients receiving treatment at a specialized Critical Care Resuscitation Center had a better survival rate versus those treated in a traditional intensive care unit.
Published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine, the study was conducted by University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) researchers to analyze benefits of their new facility, which opened in 2013.
What did the study find?
Comparing the differences between critically ill patients treated at their Critical Care Resuscitation Unit (CCRU) versus a traditional ICU, researchers found that CCRU patients were treated faster and had better success rates, including a 36 percent lower risk of death.
Researchers analyzed 1,565 medical records from patients at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). They compared a control group of those treated at traditional intensive care units at UMMC with those who received care at their new CCRU.
The results: Wait times differed greatly between the two units — on average 77 minutes faster for the CCRU patients. And for those requiring emergency surgery, the wait time was on average 3.5 hours faster than for those treated in traditional intensive care.
Why does this research matter?
In the cases of critical care — stroke, ruptured aneurysms, renal failure, blood clots, and other medical emergencies — faster treatment can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.
Yet currently, patients in critical condition tend to visit their closest hospital’s ER before being transferred to a larger institution. This process of evaluating and transferring a patient can create unnecessary delays, which can result in permanent disability or even death.
What does this mean for health professionals?
The CCRU faculty includes a multi-disciplinary team devoted to timely evaluation, resuscitation and early initiation of life-saving therapies, and it’s paving the way for other hospitals to follow suit. If other hospitals adopt this treatment model, researchers say that it could change the way time-sensitive, critical-care medicine is conducted.
“We have provided an important validation of the CCRU model, showing that it significantly improves patient outcomes,” said study author Quincy Tran, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at UMSOM. “Now that we have the data on the lifesaving potential of the CCRU, we hope to see other hospitals creating similar models.”
The Critical Care Resuscitation Unit Transfers More Patients From Emergency Departments Faster and Is Associated With Improved Outcomes, The Journal of Emergency Medicine.