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Report: Hospital Deaths Declined Just A Little Over 10 Years

Fri, 03/29/2013 - 9:37am
Maggie Fox

The number of people who died in the hospital has fallen just 8 percent over 10 years, despite a big emphasis on letting people die in hospice or even at home, new federal statistics show.

And a lot of the decrease appears to be from an overall drop in many types of death, the new report from the National Center for Health Statistics shows.

“People don’t want to die in the hospital – yet a lot of them are,” says NCHS’s Margaret Jean Hall, who led the study with colleagues Shaleah Levant and Carol DeFrances.

The study found another trend – deaths in the hospital from sepsis, an overwhelming immune response to infection or injury, rose 17 percent over those 10 years. Other data shows sepsis cases overall more than doubled over that time.

Hall and her colleagues pulled their data from an annual survey done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on nonfederal, noninstitutional, short-stay hospitals and general hospitals.

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