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Does arrival time matter for emergency patients with non-traumatic abdominal pain: A prospective study

Author: 
Iqtida Ahmed Mirza and Chang-Qing Li
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: About 5-10% of patients reporting to the emergency department present with abdominal pain. Some of these patients are discharged without further treatment, while others are admitted to the ward. We carried out this prospective study to test whether the arrival time affects the management plan. Patients and methods: Patients with non-traumatic abdominal pain who visited the emergency department of Shandong University Qilu Hospital between February and May 2016 were evaluated. Demographic data, symptoms, concurrent symptoms, symptom duration, arrival time, and preliminary diagnoses were recorded. Observation endpoints were: discharge without further treatment, admission into wards, death, emergency surgery, admission into the intensive care unit (ICU). Linear regression was performed to evaluate the factors affecting these endpoints. Results: A total of 167 patients were included (73 males and 94 females), with an average age of 45.5 years (range: 14-96 years). Two factors affecting the management plan were preliminary diagnosis and admission month. Patients diagnosed with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract were more likely to be discharged than those diagnosed with hepatic bile and pancreatic diseases (P = 0.024). Patients visiting the emergency department in May were more likely to be discharged (P = 0.003). Age, gender, symptom duration, concurrent symptoms, and arrival time were not correlated with the management plans. Conclusions: This study failed to find a correlation between arrival time and patients' management plans. Besides the comprehensible diagnosis, the admission month was also shown to affect the management plan.

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