You’re more likely to survive in the hospital if you can see a window and the nursing station


Having a window in your hospital room boosts your chances of survival by a FIFTH after surgery, study shows

  • Patients were 20% more likely to die if they were given a room without a window
  • Sunlight from windows can boost patients’ sleep and lower their blood pressure  
  • But rebuilding hospitals is ‘not practical’, said the researchers from Michigan

Having a window in your hospital room can boost your survival chances by a fifth, a study suggests.

Researchers from the University of Michigan looked at nearly 4,000 patients who had 13 high-risk surgeries over three years.

They were split into eight groups — window, no window, a one-person room, two-person room, close to nursing station and not close to nursing and whether or not they were in the direct line of sight of doctors.

The study found that patients were 20 per cent more likely to die if they were given a room without a window.

And after just 30 days, they were 10 per cent more likely to die.

Sunshine can stimulate the brain’s release of serotonin, which will leave patients in a better mood and help them feel calm.

Sunlight has been shown to reduce blood pressure and improve sleep quality.

Previous research found that patients with a bed near the window stayed for less time in the hospital, compared to patients with a bed by the door.

Patients with light reported less distress and pain, and needed fewer painkillers. 

Windows provide a distraction for recovering patients, while sunlight boosts serotonin and  helps them sleep better

Every year, the US spends about $50billion (£44billion) building healthcare facilities.

The study looked at the outcomes of 3,964 patients who had surgeries at the University of Michigan Hospital between 2016 and 2019.

These included kidney transplants, colectomy (partial or full removal of the colon) and pancreatectomy (partial or full removal of the pancreas).

The patients were distributed in rooms across two hospital floors.

The researchers coded patient rooms based on their features — window or no window, single or double occupancy, distance to the nursing station, and line of sight to doctors.

They found that patients were 20 per cent more likely to die if they were given a room without a window.

And after just 30 days, they were 10 per cent more likely to die.

The death rate was also lower for patients who were in direct line of sight of the main nursing station. 

This was because nurses could more easily asses how the patient was doing, and intervene more quickly in serious events, said the researchers.

Dr Ibrahim, assistant professor of surgery, architecture and urban-planning at the University of Michigan, said the relationship between hospital design and patient care is ‘often overlooked’.

He said: ‘The common question we get asked is, do you want us to rebuild our hospitals? Of course, that is not practical. But we do recognize clear patterns where certain room types have better outcomes after surgery.

‘We can start to prioritize the sickest patients there. Just the way we have developed precision health models for getting the right care to the patient, there may be a corollary for the right room for the right patient and procedure to optimize outcomes collectively.’

The findings will be presented at the scientific forum of the American College of Surgeons clinical Congress 2022.

Next, the researchers want to look at how pain medication and patient satisfaction with room types impacts their chances of survival.

They also said they need to see if the results are the same across multiple hospitals.

Currently, they are conducting a similar study at the University of Michigan healthcare system and hope to recruit other researchers from other hospital systems.

There were over 33million hospital admissions in the US in 2020.

And in the UK, there were more than 17million hospital admissions between April 2018 and March 2019.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk