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Admitted to the hospital. A hospital admission is a major life event.
it can be life-saving,
worth the cost. The risk of death is high if admitted as an emergency. It costs $2,000 per day, but as many are in high risk, often this cost is necessary.


Common reasons. What are the most common reasons people are admitted to the hospital? I found the answer to this from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. This data is current as of 2009 in the United States.

Tip:This data applies only to elderly patients. The causes of admission for younger people are different.

Components of Growth in Inpatient Hospital Costs
Common reasons for hospital admissions

Congestive heart failure   19.0 stays per 1,000 population
Pneumonia                  15.5 stays per 1,000 population
Cardiac dysrhythmias       13.7 stays per 1,000 population


Cost. Financial issues are a major component to hospital admissions. What are the most expensive reasons people are admitted to the hospital? I found this information again from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.

Note:This financial data is from the United States. It applies to elderly patients.

Most expensive reasons for hospital admissions

Septicemia                   $8.5 billion
Osteoarthritis               $7.7 billion
Other heart disease          $7.5 billion
Congestive heart failure     $7.3 billion
Acute myocardial infarction  $6.3 billion

Tip:Septicemia is another term for sepsis. Please refer to the "Pneumonia and sepsis" section.

And:Acute myocardial infarction is another term for heart attack. Please refer to the "Heart attack" section.

Analysis. It should not be a surprise that of the top five most expensive reasons for a person to be admitted to the hospital, three are heart-related. Two of the top three most common reasons are heart-related.

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Urgent, emergent. This is an important concept. Urgent care facilities are available in every city. They treat urgent problems. An emergent problem is something different. Urgent problems are less severe than emergent problems.

An emergent problem is life-threatening or so severe is may lead to serious danger. It is an emergency. Emergent problems are best treated and diagnosed at the emergency room. An emergent problem can lead to a hospital admission.


Deaths. How often do hospital admissions result in a death? This depends greatly on the reason the admission occurred. If an admission was due to an emergency, 5.5% of hospital admissions end in death.

Also:Some admissions are elective, which means they are a person's choice. With these, only 0.8% end in death.

British Medical Journal
Research results

Age. What are the most common ages of people admitted? I used data from the British Medical Journal. Admissions by age were fairly high at less than one year. At ages 1-4 they dropped. They rose steadily from ages 1 to ages 65-74.

Participants: 36.5 million completed hospital admissions in 146 general and 72 specialist trusts. Past age 84, admissions dropped. Most men have died by this point. For women, there were more hospitalizations in this age range.

The total number of female admissions was similar to the total number of male admissions. For all admissions over the age of 14, the mortality rate for females was consistently lower than that for males.

Admissions by age: Men

<1       1,200,000
1-4        900,000
5-14     1,000,000
15-24    1,200,000
25-34    1,300,000
35-44    1,700,000
45-54    1,900,000
55-64    2,500,000
65-74    2,800,000
75-84    2,700,000
>85      1,100,000

Admissions by age: Women

<1       1,000,000
1-4        700,000
5-14       800,000
15-24    1,300,000
25-34    1,300,000
35-44    1,700,000
45-54    1,800,000
55-64    2,100,000
65-74    2,400,000
75-84    3,000,000
>85      2,100,000

Note:These numbers are derived from hospital admissions in England from 2005 to 2010. Each number is rounded to the nearest 100,000.


Heart attack. The leading cause of death is myocardial infarction or heart attack. This is also a top reason for an admission to the hospital from the emergency room. In Brazil, the average time period for a hospital stay after a heart attack is 5 days.

Note:The outcome of these hospitalizations was dependent on the patient's age, not the time spent waiting for a hospital admission.

Prolonged length of hospital stay and in-hospital mortality in [acute coronary syndrome] patients do not depend on admission time.

Emergency service admission time

Stroke. Many are admitted to the hospital with a neurological diagnosis. The majority of admissions were for strokes. In a Spanish hospital, 76% of patients admitted for a neurological reason had experienced a stroke.

A total of 655 patients were admitted to the hospital for neurological reasons, and 76% of them were diagnosed as strokes. The sensitivity of stroke diagnosis made by emergency doctors was high (97%)...

Reliability of Stroke Diagnosis in Emergency Departments

Stroke is a common reason to be admitted to the hospital. It is the most common neurological reason. With rapid treatment, prognosis for a stroke dramatically improves. This is an important function of an emergency department.


Pneumonia, sepsis. Another common reason why people are admitted to the hospital is pneumonia. This breathing disease is treated with antibiotics. Fast administration of antibiotics is considered "crucial" for pneumonia.

Community acquired pneumonia (CAP) and sepsis are leading causes of hospitalization after admission to a medical emergency department (ED). Identifying these potentially life-threatening diseases is not always easy due to often unspecific or minimal symptoms.

Swiss Medical WeeklyMedical research: microscope

Sepsis. Another infection that leads to a hospital admission from the emergency department is sepsis. In sepsis, the blood is overwhelmed with bacteria. Sepsis too can be treated with rapid administration of antibiotics.

Note:Sepsis leads to a hospital admission—one that is potentially life-saving.

Statistics. The average age of hospital admission for sepsis was 66 years in Sweden hospitals. The average age for pneumonia was about the same at 67 years. These problems tend to affect older individuals at a greater rate.

And:For men, these ages occur in the peak period for hospitalization by age. Please see the above chart from English hospitals.

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Injuries. Another reason why someone would be admitted to the hospital is an injury. There is interesting data on injuries among children. I looked at some information from Australia about hospital admissions due to injuries in children.

Note:The most common reason for an admission to occur is a fall. The second most common reason was an injury caused by another person.

The main cause of injury-related hospital admissions was a fall (109, 59%). The second most common cause of injury was as a result of another person (n = 19, 10.1%)...

Causes and consequences of injuries in children
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Cost per day. There is a financial aspect to hospital admissions. Inpatient care is the largest portion of health care costs in the United States. The average patient admitted to the hospital will cost $2,000 per day.

And:The average stay is 4.6 days. The total cost is $9,200. This is current as of 2009 in the United States.

Note:This information is from "Components of Growth in Inpatient Hospital Costs," cited above.


Weekend days. Weekend admissions have more risk. I found no scientific explanation for this. In patients already admitted, there was also an increase in deaths on weekend days. Sunday was riskier than Saturday by a small amount.

We have found clear evidence of an excess of mortality associated with admission to hospital on weekend days in the National Health Service in England and in not-for-profit hospitals in the USA.

Weekend hospitalization and additional risk of death

With the 14 million hospital admissions studied, there were 187,337 deaths within thirty days. This means that about 1.3% percent of people admitted to the hospital died within thirty days of admission.

And:Perhaps the most useful part of knowing this risk is that physicians could be more alert to the risk of death on weekend days.


Med errors. Sometimes a pharmacy may fill a patient's prescription with the wrong drug. Or a doctor may mistakenly prescribe the wrong medication. This can lead to hospitalizations. This is a potentially life-threatening error.


Summary. An event serious enough to cause a person to be admitted to the hospital will change that person's life forever. A hospital admission is a great expense. It can be life-saving but the risk of death is high depending on the diagnosis.

Also:Age and the general health of a person determine the outcome. Heart disease, sepsis, pneumonia, stroke and injuries were covered.