Nursing News: Inpatient Hospital Deaths Decreased

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 20th, 2013

The number of inpatient hospital deaths decreased by 8% between 2000 and 2010; the death rate declined from 2.5 of every 100 patients to 2 of every 100.

The decrease occurred even though total hospitalizations increased 11%, from 31.7 million to 35.1 million, during that span. Of patients who died in the hospital in 2010, 27% were 85 or older.

Respiratory failure had the highest death rate, at 16.5 per 100 inpatients, in 2010. However, this was a 35% decrease, down from 25.3 per 100 inpatients in 2000.

Septicemia had the second-highest death rate in 2010, at 16.3%, and was the only listed first-line diagnosis for which the death rate rose since 2000. The increase from 13.9 deaths per 100 patients hospitalized for septicemia represented a bump of 17%.

The death rate for pneumonitis due to solids and liquids was 13.6 in 2010, a decrease of 22% since 2000. Other decreases were seen in in-hospital deaths for kidney disease (65%), cancer (46%), stroke (27%), pneumonia (33%) and heart disease (16%).

The full data brief from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics is available at

Good job nurses!

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