Table 2

Clinical characteristics, patient management and disposition of cases and controls on first visit

Cases
n=270
Controls
n=270
P value
Acuity, high*15 (5.6)7 (2.6)0.08
SBP <90 (mm Hg)2 (0.7)0 (0.0)0.50
Heart rate, ≥10072 (26.7)51 (19.0)0.03
O2 saturation, ≤95%20 (7.4)10 (3.7)0.06
Temperature, ≥38.5°C8 (3.0)7 (2.7)0.83
Respiratory rate, ≥2232 (13.8)25 (11.1)0.39
Imaging134 (49.6)120 (44.4)0.23
Laboratory tests203 (75.2)124 (45.9)<0.0001
Drugs9 (3.3)9 (3.3)1.00
Intravenous fluid27 (10.0)55 (20.0)0.001
ECG88 (32.6)83 (30.7)0.64
ED consult97 (35.9)61 (22.6)0.001
LOS (hours)<0.0001
 Mean (±SD)3.39±2.192.35±1.98
 Median (IQR)2.91 (2.61)1.78 (1.86)
ED volume/day, mean (±SD)148.29±19.60149.39±18.980.50
Volume/hour, mean (±SD)8.22±3.428.17±3.360.87
Off-hour visits196 (72.6)164 (60.7)0.003
Handover62 (23.0)36 (13.3)0.005
AMA37 (13.7)18 (6.6)0.01
  • Imaging: includes ultrasound, CT and X-ray; drug: drug used in ED; consult: presence of any consultation of specialised physicians (medical and surgical) at the ED; LOS in the ED in hours; working hours: on hours (weekday 8:00–17:00 hours), off hours (weekday 17:00–8:00 hours and anytime on weekends).

  • *Acuity, as defined by Emergency Severity Index: 1 and 2=high; 2 and above=other acuity (reference).

  • . AMA, against medical advice; ED, emergency department; LOS, length of stay;SBP, systolic blood pressure.