Causas de morte numa unidade de internamento de agudos de psiquiatria de um hospital geral português

Translated title of the contribution: Causes of death in an acute psychiatric inpatient unit of a portuguese general hospital

Sofia Barbosa, Márcia Sequeira, Sara Castro, Rita Manso, Catarina Klut Câmara, Bruno Trancas, Nuno Borja-Santos, Teresa Maia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: Psychiatric patients are at increased risk of death from a number of natural and unnatural causes. This study examines the mortality causes of all psychiatric inpatients of an acute psychiatric unit at a general hospital in Portugal for sixteen years (1998 to 2013). Material and Methods: Twenty-one inpatients died at the inpatient unit between 1998 and 2013 (average 1.3 per year). A retrospective study through case-file review was carried to collect demographic characteristics, medical and psychiatry diagnosis. Patients transferred to other wards during their admission were not included. Results: Circulatory system diseases were the most prevalent causes of death, occurring in 2/3 of patients and include pulmonary embolism (n = 6), acute stroke (n = 3), cardiac arrhythmia (n = 2), acute myocardial infarction (n = 1), abdominal aortic aneurysm rupture (n = 1) and heart failure (n = 1). Two patients died with pneumonia and in four cases the cause of death was undetermined. Only one case of suicide was registered. Discussion: Circulatory conditions were the most frequent causes of death in our inpatient unit. Albeit a relatively rare event, inpatient suicide does occur and, in addition to its complex consequences on staff, family and patients should remain a focus for continued prevention. Conclusion: Mortality studies are important for determining quality of health care and to create recommendations for preventive measures.

Translated title of the contributionCauses of death in an acute psychiatric inpatient unit of a portuguese general hospital
Original languagePortuguese
Pages (from-to)468-475
Number of pages8
JournalActa Médica Portuguesa
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Cause of death
  • Hospital
  • Hospital mortality
  • Mental disorders/mortality
  • Portugal
  • Psychiatric department


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