11/18/2003

Cardiac arrest deadlier at night

By Alice Dembner
The Boston Globe

BOSTON The finding was startling and unequivocal: Hospital patients who go into cardiac arrest during the night shift are more likely to die.

But the explanation is less clear. Do they die because there aren''t enough staff members to revive them promptly, or because physiologic changes strike the heart more severely at night?

Either way, the study carries a message for hospitals, said the lead researcher, Dr. Mary Ann Peberdy of Virginia Commonwealth University Health System. "Hospitals need to target delivery of care during the night shift."
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