Among hospital intensive care units (ICUs) with a daytime physician specially trained in critical care, adding a specialist to cover the night shift does not improve patients' survival, according to a new study. Among hospitals with ICUs that don't have a dedicated critical care physician during the day, however, the presence of such a doctor at night was tied to a smaller likelihood that patients would die.…Among the 22 ICUs with no intensivist during the day, having one at night was tied to a 38 percent lower patient death rate than in ICUs without a day- or nighttime intensivist. "The results of this large study seem to support previously observed associations between overall 'higher intensity staffing' and lower mortality," said Dr. Ognjen Gajic, a professor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, who did not participate in this research.
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Reuters by Kerry Grens