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Acute care beds are beds accommodating patients where the principal clinical intent is to do one or more of the following:

- manage labour (obstetric)
- cure illness or provide definitive treatment of injury
- perform surgery
- relieve symptoms of illness or injury (excluding palliative care)
- reduce severity of illness or injury
- protect against exacerbation and/or complication of an illness and/or injury which could threaten life or normal functions
- perform diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.

Acute care beds have alternatively been defined as beds accommodating patients in a hospital or hospital department whose average length of stay is 30 days or less until the 1980s and 18 days or less after.

Source Publication:
2001 Data Collection on Education Systems: Definitions, Explanations and Instructions, UNESCO, OECD, Eurostat, page 45.

Cross References:
Acute care
Long-term care beds in hospitals

Statistical Theme: Health statistics

Created on Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Last updated on Thursday, April 25, 2013