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Study: More Doctors Can Enhance Lives Of Patients

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Hundreds of intensive care unit patients may be alive, thanks in part to a University of Maryland Medical Center study.

Andrea Fujii explains they’ve found that more doctors mean better outcomes.

The University of Maryland Medical Center says since they’ve increased the number of doctors in their intensive care unit more people are surviving.

“One of the things we wanted to see was if we brought in every resource we had, we brought things to the highest level of recommendation, how much better would patients do?” said Dr. Giora Netzer, ICU physician.

More doctors, pharmacists, respiratory therapists and nurses are just some of the additions they made.

In the four-year, 3,600-patient study, they found a 19 percent decrease in mortality.

“We are pleasantly surprised by just how big the impact was,” said Netzer.

Stage four melanoma patient Michael Scearce says he noticed the difference.

“They do basically everything. I have 24-hour care, every single day,” said Scearce.

The study found that if every ICU across the country adopted these measures 20,000 more patients would be saved per year.

Additional doctors means increased costs, $2,000 more per patient. That doesn’t make it feasible for all hospitals, but doctors say they hope their study starts a trend.

“I think we have our work cut out for us, but it’s a worthy goal,” said Netzer.

The University of Maryland Medical Center is celebrating another achievement. They’ll receive the Top Hospitals of the Decade Award from the Leapfrog Group.

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