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Research Article

"Right" stay in hospital after sugery: randomised controlled trial.

Br Med J 1977; 1 doi: (Published 11 June 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;1:1514
  1. J E Simpson,
  2. A G Cox,
  3. T W Meade,
  4. P J Brennan,
  5. J A Lee


    A randomised controlled trial was carried out on 100 patients to compare the effects of discharge after certain pre-specified clinical criteria had been fulfilled--"right" stay--with those of discharge at an arbitrary 10 days after surgery--"fixed" stay. The operations concerned (cholecystectomy and vagotomy) were more hazardous than those previously included in studies of early discharge. Patients in the right-stay group were discharged, on average, 7-6 days after operation--that is, two days earlier than those in the fixed-stay group. In terms of clinical progress, social factors such as return to work, and the acceptability to patients and relatives of the implications of right stay, patients in this group fared as well as those in the fixed-stay group, and in some respects slightly better. Right stay entailed the transfer of some work from hospital to community medical and nursing staff, but this also was acceptable. The concept and use of the right-stay principle is of value in planning the postoperative discharge of suitable patients.