A survey of demographic properties of patients who died in intensive care units and their association with the death hour

Encuesta de Propiedades Demográficas de Pacientes Fallecidos en Unidades de Cuidados Intensivos y su Asociación con la Hora de la Muerte


Poor sleep hygiene and the hour of changing shifts are among the most important factors which affect the quality of services in the intensive care unit. The present study aimed to investigate the demographic properties of patients who died in the intensive care unit and their association with their death hour.

Materials and methods

As a cross-sectional study, this study was performed by referring to the Statistics Center of Hazrat Rasool Akram Hospital and collecting the demographic information of dead patients at 12 intensive care units in this hospital. This information includes age, sex, the cause of death, and the exact time of death of these patients.


In this study, the rate of mortality in intensive care units was assessed as follows; from 12 pm to 2 am (14.48%), from 2 am to 4 (5.49%), from 4 to 6 am (8.99%), from 6 to 8 am (11.32%), from 8 to 10 am (6.79%), from 10 am to 12 noon (8.03%), from 12 to 14 (6.04%), from 14 to 16 (6.93%), from 16 to 18 (7.41%), from 18 to 20 (9.47%), from 20 to 22 (8.1%), and from 22 to 24 hours (6.93%). The highest rate of mortality was between 12–2 AM and then 6–8 AM. In this study, a significant rate of deaths occurred during the night and the lowest rate was during normal work hours and in fact during the morning hours of visiting patients.


Since the highest rate of mortality was during night hours, during the hours of changing shifts, and at the beginning of midnight, the mortality rate could be decreased with the decrement in staff's working hours and paying more attention to patients during these hours, the overall mortality rate of patients could be decreased in ICU units.

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