Resuscitation status and characteristics and outcomes of patients transferred from subacute care to acute care hospitals: A multi-site prospective cohort study

Maryann Street, Trisha Dunning, Tracey Bucknall, Alison M. Hutchinson, Helen Rawson, Anastasia F. Hutchinson, Mari Botti, Maxine M. Duke, Mohammadreza Mohebbi, Julie Considine

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Aims and objectives: To examine the relationship between resuscitation status and (i) patient characteristics; (ii) transfer characteristics; and (iii) patient outcomes following an emergency inter-hospital transfer from a subacute to an acute care hospital. Background: Patients who experience emergency inter-hospital transfers from subacute to acute care hospitals have high rates of acute care readmission (81%) and in-hospital mortality (15%). Design: This prospective, exploratory cohort study was a subanalysis of data from a larger case–time–control study in five Health Services in Victoria, Australia. There were 603 transfers in 557 patients between August 2015 and October 2016. The study was conducted in accordance with the STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology guidelines. Methods: Data were extracted by medical record audit. Three resuscitation categories (full resuscitation; limitation of medical treatment (LOMT) orders; or not-for-cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) orders) were compared using chi-square or Kruskal–Wallis tests. Stratified multivariable proportional hazard Cox regression models were used to account for health service clustering effect. Findings.: Resuscitation status was 63.5% full resuscitation; 23.1% LOMT order; and 13.4% not-for-CPR. Compared to patients for full resuscitation, patients with not-for-CPR or LOMT orders were more likely to have rapid response team calls during acute care readmission or to die during hospitalisation. Patients who were not-for-CPR were less likely to be readmitted to acute care and more likely to return to subacute care. Conclusions: Two-thirds of patients in subacute care who experienced an emergency inter-hospital transfer were for full resuscitation. Although the proportion of patients with LOMT and not-for-CPR orders increased after transfer, there were deficiencies in the documentation of resuscitation status and planning for clinical deterioration for subacute care patients. Relevance to Clinical Practice: As many subacute care patients experience clinical deterioration, patient preferences for care need to be discussed and documented early in the subacute care admission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1302-1311
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  • Clinical deterioration
  • Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders
  • Goals of Care
  • Rehabilitation
  • Resuscitation Decisions
  • Resuscitation Policies
  • Subacute Care
  • Withholding Resuscitation

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