Objectives: To examine three opinions voiced by nightshift emergency department (ED) staff. First, that a significant proportion of adult patients arriving by emergency ambulance lack a clear indication for emergency transport. Second, that at night a high proportion of ambulance arrivals are drunk, abusive or leave without treatment. Third, that at night a high proportion of ambulance arrivals have been assaulted or have deliberately harmed themselves.
Methods: A retrospective audit of all 5421 new patient attendances to Glasgow Royal Infirmary ED in February 2007, including 1743 arriving by ambulance.
Results: 19.5% of ambulance arrivals lacked a clear indication for emergency transport. Between midnight and 05:00 hours: 52.5% of ambulance arrivals were intoxicated; 6.2% were abusive to staff; 14.0% left before treatment was completed; 21.4% had been assaulted and 7.4% had deliberately harmed themselves.
Conclusion: The majority of ambulances were called appropriately; however, there remains a significant proportion who could travel by other means. A high proportion of ambulance arrivals between midnight and 05:00 hours were intoxicated, abusive or victims of assault. This supported staff’s perception that such patients form a substantial proportion of departmental workload at night.
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.