Impact of SARS on an emergency department in Hong Kong
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AbstractObjective: To report on the impact of a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak on the attendances of a major teaching hospital ED. Methods: Two periods were studied. The first was prior to the closure of the ED due to SARS and the second was after re-opening of the ED. Data on attendances, discharge against medical advice, triage categories, trauma and ambulance cases were retrieved from the computer and compared with the data in the same periods in 2002. Results: In the first period, when compared with 2002 there was a significant decrease in the mean daily attendance (397 vs 524), trauma cases (68 vs 111), minor cases (category 4: 283 vs 361, and category 5: 20 vs 43). In the second period, there was a significant decrease in the mean daily attendance (265 vs 545), trauma cases (40 vs 111), minor cases (category 4: 181 vs 376, and category 5: 12 vs 45), discharge against medical advice (4 vs 6 daily) and ambulance cases (70 vs 86 daily). Patients requiring immediate care however, remained similar. Conclusion: There was a significant drop in the overall ED attendance, trauma cases and minor cases after the outbreak of SARS. Possible causes include changes in community behaviour, resulting in a lower incidence of trauma and disease and fear of presenting to hospital and contracting SARS.
All Author(s) ListMan C.Y., Yeung R.S.D., Chung J.Y.M., Cameron P.A.
Journal nameEmergency Medicine (Fremantle, W.A.)
Volume Number15
Issue Number5-6
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Inc.
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Pages418 - 422
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
KeywordsAttendance, Emergency department, SARS, Trauma, Triage

Last updated on 2021-17-02 at 00:18