Research Article

Elderly patients in a general surgical unit: do they block beds?

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 284 doi: (Published 26 June 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;284:1921
  1. D G Seymour,
  2. R Pringle


    In a prospective study of patients aged 65 years and over admitted to a general surgical unit only one patient in 10 remained in hospital for more than a month and fewer than one patient in a hundred became a "bed-blocker." While the over-65s had mean and median durations of stay which were longer than those of younger patients, in almost all cases a prolonged stay in hospital resulted from postoperative morbidity and was not related to social or administrative factors. Only a reduction in the incidence of postoperative morbidity could achieve a significant saving in the number of bed-days occupied by elderly people.