OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the frequency and pattern of use of the accident and emergency (A&E) department by individuals with diabetes is different from that of the general population. METHODS: A historical cohort of 696 individuals with diabetes from six randomly selected general practices and a non-diabetic comparison cohort matched on age, sex, and general practice were identified. The use of an urban A&E department by the two cohorts was compared for number of visits between 1984 and 1996 for injuries, diabetes related and non-diabetes related illness, proportion referred by a general practitioner, proportion arriving by ambulance, and proportion admitted. RESULTS: More visits were made by the diabetic cohort (1002 v 706, P = 0.0001); 121 visits were directly related to diabetes, including 52 for hypoglycaemia. The diabetic cohort also had more visits for medical illness unrelated to diabetes (357 v 231, P = 0.0001). The number of visits for injuries was similar (524 v 475, P = 0.3). Individuals with diabetes who attended A&E were not significantly more likely to be referred by a general practitioner (14% v 16%) or admitted (20% v 17%). CONCLUSIONS: Individuals with diabetes made more frequent visits than the general population to the A&E department. Since there was no excess of visits for injuries and the proportion requiring admission was similar, the hypothesis that they have a different threshold for attending is not supported.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.