Journal article Open Access
Naif Misfer Alzhrany, Abdulmajeed haddaj M ALRUWAILI, Abdulaziz matar R alanazi, Muhammad abdullah M almalki , Muayad Mahmood Anbarserri , Omar Tabaan M Alenezi, Mohammed Mahdi AlGaraash, Nouf Sajer F Alghorry, Atheer Ibrahim Alqubaysi, Areej Muteb S Alanazi, Ahmad alhamidi alanazi
Background: Most of patients who visit the emergency departments (EDs) in Saudi Arabia have non- urgent conditions, which results in unmet needs and delayed care for urgent patients.
Objective: To determine the proportion of urgent to non-urgent cases and causes for non-urgent visits to the Emergency Department (EDs) in Prince Abdulaziz bin Musaed Hospital in Arar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out during May, 2018 included 355 male and female patients of all age groups attending the EDs. Urgent and non-urgent cases were determined by the emergency room physician, whether the case needed to be seen by the ER or it was a cold non-urgent case. Data was collected by personal interview using a predesigned questionnaire including questions which guide us to the relevant needed data. Results: The majority of visitors (66.2%) to the (ED) were females, they represent almost two-thirds (69.2%) to the urgent visits to the (ED) and there was a significant correlation between sex and visiting the ER (P=0.028). Patients aged between 21 and 40 years, accounted for the highest proportion (78.1%) of ED visits. Almost half (46.2%) of patients were employed. Most of patients (76.6%) were uninsured. Eligibility for free medical services was reported by (45.1%). The urgent cases constituted altogether (25.1%) of the study participants while non-emergency cases constituted (74.9%). Coughing, nasal discharge and difficulty breathing were the most frequent causes of visits (13.9%), then acute abdominal pain (10.6%), vomiting and diarrhea (6.8%), fractures, torsions or pain in a bone or joint (or both) (6.8%). We recorded 22.8% of ED visits in the morning shift, 21.4% in mid-night shift and 57.8% in the afternoon shift.
Conclusion: in this study, we found that, 25.1% only ware urgent cases although the cases have the eligibility for free medical services in another special hospitals and good proportion of them were covered by health insurance. We recommend the decision makers to hold health education sessions about this issue to decrease the non-urgent cases visits to the ERs to improve the service of really urgent cases. We also recommend Large scale and detailed researches regarding this issue.