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Burden of emergency conditions and emergency care usage: new estimates from 40 countries. - Emergency medicine journal : EMJ
To estimate the global and national burden of emergency conditions, and compare them to emergency care usage rates.We coded all 291 Global Burden of Disease 2010 conditions into three categories to estimate emergency burden: conditions that, if not addressed within hours to days of onset, commonly lead to serious disability or death; conditions with common acute decompensations that lead to serious disability or death; and non-emergencies. Emergency care usage rates were obtained from a systematic literature review on emergency care facilities in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), supplemented by national health system reports.All 15 leading causes of death and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) globally were conditions with potential emergent manifestations. We identified 41 facility-based reports in 23 countries, 12 of which were in LMICs; data for 17 additional countries were obtained from national or regional reports on emergency usage. Burden of emergency conditions was the highest in low-income countries, with median DALYs of 47â€…728 per 100â€…000 population (IQR 45â€…253-50â€…085) in low-income, 25â€…186 (IQR 21â€…982-40â€…480) in middle-income and 15â€…691 (IQR 14â€…649-16â€…382) in high-income countries. Patterns were similar using deaths to measure burden and excluding acute decompensations from the definition of emergency conditions. Conversely, emergency usage rates were the lowest in low-income countries, with median 8 visits per 1000 population (IQR 6-10), 78 (IQR 25-197) in middle-income and 264 (IQR 177-341) in high-income countries.Despite higher burden of emergency conditions, emergency usage rates are substantially lower in LMICs, likely due to limited access to emergency care.Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/
Short-term Outcomes for Medicare Beneficiaries After Low-acuity Visits to Emergency Departments and Clinics. - Medical care
There is substantial interest in identifying low-acuity visits to emergency departments (EDs) that could be treated more appropriately in other settings. Systematic differences in illness severity between ED patients and comparable patients elsewhere could make such strategies unsafe, but little evidence exists to guide policy makers.To compare illness severity between patients visiting EDs and outpatient clinics, by comparing short-term mortality and hospitalization, controlling for patient demographics, comorbidity, and visit acuity.Cross-sectional study of outcomes after medical encounters.Nationally representative 20% sample of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries discharged home from ED or clinic visit in 2011, and enrolled continuously for 1 year before the visit.All-cause mortality and hospitalization in the 8, 15, and 30 days after discharge home from ED or clinic visits.After risk-adjusting for patient demographic, comorbidity, disability, and dual-eligibility status, as well as visit acuity as measured by a commonly used algorithm, we found that ED patients were more likely to die (risk-adjusted odds ratio=2.75; 95% confidence interval, 2.56-2.96) or be hospitalized (odds ratio=1.97; 95% confidence interval, 1.95-2.00) after discharge than clinic patients. Differences in short-term outcomes were observed even when comparing patients with the same discharge diagnoses after risk adjustment.Patients presenting to EDs have worse risk-adjusted short-term outcomes than those presenting to outpatient clinics, even after controlling for acuity level of visit or discharge diagnosis. Existing measures of acuity using administrative data may not adequately capture severity of illness, making judgments of the appropriate setting for care difficult.
The Emergency Care of Patients With Cancer: Setting the Research Agenda. - Annals of emergency medicine
To identify research priorities and appropriate resources and to establish the infrastructure required to address the emergency care of patients with cancer, the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute and the Office of Emergency Care Research sponsored a one-day workshop, "Cancer and Emergency Medicine: Setting the Research Agenda," in March 2015 in Bethesda, MD. Participants included leading researchers and clinicians in the fields of oncology, emergency medicine, and palliative care, and representatives from the National Institutes of Health. Attendees were charged with identifying research opportunities and priorities to advance the understanding of the emergency care of cancer patients. Recommendations were made in 4 areas: the collection of epidemiologic data, care of the patient with febrile neutropenia, acute events such as dyspnea, and palliative care in the emergency department setting.Copyright Â© 2016 American College of Emergency Physicians. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Emergency Care Use and the Medicare Hospice Benefit for Individuals with Cancer with a Poor Prognosis. - Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
To compare patterns of emergency department (ED) use and inpatient admission rates for elderly adults with cancer with a poor prognosis who enrolled in hospice to those of similar individuals who did not.Matched case-control study.Nationally representative sample of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with cancer with a poor prognosis who died in 2011.Beneficiaries in hospice matched to individuals not in hospice on time from diagnosis of cancer with a poor prognosis to death, region, age, and sex.Comparison of ED use and inpatient admission rates before and after hospice enrollment for beneficiaries in hospice and controls.Of 272,832 matched beneficiaries, 81% visited the ED in the last 6 months of life. At baseline, daily ED use and admission rates were not significantly different between beneficiaries in and not in hospice. By the week before death, nonhospice controls averaged 69.6 ED visits/1,000 beneficiary-days, versus 7.6 for beneficiaries in hospice (rate ratio (RR) = 9.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 9.3-10.0). Inpatient admission rates in the last week of life were 63% for nonhospice controls and 42% for beneficiaries in hospice (RR = 1.51, 95% CI = 1.45-1.57). Of all beneficiaries in hospice, 28% enrolled during inpatient stays originating in EDs; they accounted for 35.7% (95% CI = 35.4-36.0%) of all hospice stays of less than 1 month and 13.9% (95% CI = 13.6-14.2%) of stays longer than 1 month.Most Medicare beneficiaries with cancer with a poor prognosis visited EDs at the end of life. Hospice enrollment was associated with lower ED use and admission rates. Many individuals enrolled in hospice during inpatient stays that followed ED visits, a phenomenon linked to shorter hospice stays. These findings must be interpreted carefully given potential unmeasured confounders in matching.Â© 2016, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation Â© 2016, The American Geriatrics Society.
Emergency care in 59 low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review. - Bulletin of the World Health Organization
To conduct a systematic review of emergency care in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).We searched PubMed, CINAHL and World Health Organization (WHO) databases for reports describing facility-based emergency care and obtained unpublished data from a network of clinicians and researchers. We screened articles for inclusion based on their titles and abstracts in English or French. We extracted data on patient outcomes and demographics as well as facility and provider characteristics. Analyses were restricted to reports published from 1990 onwards.We identified 195 reports concerning 192 facilities in 59 countries. Most were academically-affiliated hospitals in urban areas. The median mortality within emergency departments was 1.8% (interquartile range, IQR: 0.2-5.1%). Mortality was relatively high in paediatric facilities (median: 4.8%; IQR: 2.3-8.4%) and in sub-Saharan Africa (median: 3.4%; IQR: 0.5-6.3%). The median number of patients was 30â€‰000 per year (IQR: 10â€‰296-60â€‰000), most of whom were young (median age: 35 years; IQR: 6.9-41.0) and male (median: 55.7%; IQR: 50.0-59.2%). Most facilities were staffed either by physicians-in-training or by physicians whose level of training was unspecified. Very few of these providers had specialist training in emergency care.Available data on emergency care in LMICs indicate high patient loads and mortality, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where a substantial proportion of all deaths may occur in emergency departments. The combination of high volume and the urgency of treatment make emergency care an important area of focus for interventions aimed at reducing mortality in these settings.
Contributions of risk factors and medical care to cardiovascular mortality trends. - Nature reviews. Cardiology
Ischaemic heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) lead to 17.5 million deaths worldwide per year. Taking into account population ageing, CVD death rates are decreasing steadily both in regions with reliable trend data and globally. The declines in high-income countries and some Latin American countries have been ongoing for decades without slowing. These positive trends have broadly coincided with, and benefited from, declines in smoking and physiological risk factors, such as blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels. These declines have also coincided with, and benefited from, improvements in medical care, including primary prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of acute CVDs, as well as post-hospital care, especially in the past 40 years. These variables, however, explain neither why the decline began when it did, nor the similarities and differences in the start time and rate of the decline between countries and sexes. In Russia and some other former Soviet countries, changes in volume and patterns of alcohol consumption have caused sharp rises in CVD mortality since the early 1990s. An important challenge in reaching firm conclusions about the drivers of these remarkable international trends is the paucity of time-trend data on CVD incidence, risk factors throughout the life-course, and clinical care.
Physician Characteristics Strongly Predict Patient Enrollment In Hospice. - Health affairs (Project Hope)
Individual physicians are widely believed to play a large role in patients' decisions about end-of-life care, but little empirical evidence supports this view. We developed a novel method for measuring the relationship between physician characteristics and hospice enrollment, in a nationally representative sample of Medicare patients. We focused on patients who died with a diagnosis of poor-prognosis cancer in the period 2006-11, for whom palliative treatment and hospice would be considered the standard of care. We found that the proportion of a physician's patients who were enrolled in hospice was a strong predictor of whether or not that physician's other patients would enroll in hospice. The magnitude of this association was larger than that of other known predictors of hospice enrollment that we examined, including patients' medical comorbidity, age, race, and sex. Patients cared for by medical oncologists and those cared for in not-for-profit hospitals were significantly more likely than other patients to enroll in hospice. These findings suggest that physician characteristics are among the strongest predictors of whether a patient receives hospice care-which mounting evidence indicates can improve care quality and reduce costs. Interventions geared toward physicians, both by specialty and by previous history of patients' hospice enrollment, may help optimize appropriate hospice use.Project HOPEâ€”The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.
Frequency of ED revisits and death among older adults after a fall. - The American journal of emergency medicine
Falls among older adults (aged â‰¥65 years) are the leading cause of both injury deaths and emergency department (ED) visits for trauma. We examine the characteristics and prevalence of older adult ED fallers as well as the recurrent ED visit and mortality rate.This was a retrospective analysis of a cohort of elderly fall patients who presented to the ED between 2005 and 2011 of 2 urban, level 1 trauma, teaching hospitals with approximately 80000 to 95000 annual visits. We examined the frequency of ED revisits and death at 3 days, 7 days, 30 days, and 1 year controlling for certain covariates.Our cohort included 21340 patients. The average age was 78.6 years. An increasing proportion of patients revisited the ED over the course of 1 year, ranging from 2% of patients at 3 days to 25% at 1 year. Death rates increased from 1.2% at 3 days to 15% at 1 year. A total of 10728 patients (50.2%) returned to the ED at some point during our 7-year study period, and 36% of patients had an ED revisit or death within 1 year. In multivariate logistic regression, male sex and comorbidities were associated with ED revisits and death.More than one-third of older adult ED fall patients had an ED revisit or died within 1 year. Falls are one of the geriatric syndromes that contribute to frequent ED revisits and death rates. Future research should determine whether falls increase the risk of such outcomes and how to prevent future fall and death.Copyright Â© 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Cause-specific risk of hospital admission related to extreme heat in older adults. - JAMA
Heat exposure is known to have a complex set of physiological effects on multiple organ systems, but current understanding of the health effects is mostly based on studies investigating a small number of prespecified health outcomes such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.To identify possible causes of hospital admissions during extreme heat events and to estimate their risks using historical data.Matched analysis of time series data describing daily hospital admissions of Medicare enrollees (23.7 million fee-for-service beneficiaries [aged â‰¥65 years] per year; 85% of all Medicare enrollees) for the period 1999 to 2010 in 1943 counties in the United States with at least 5 summers of near-complete (>95%) daily temperature data.Heat wave periods, defined as 2 or more consecutive days with temperatures exceeding the 99th percentile of county-specific daily temperatures, matched to non-heat wave periods by county and week.Daily cause-specific hospitalization rates by principal discharge diagnosis codes, grouped into 283 disease categories using a validated approach.Risks of hospitalization for fluid and electrolyte disorders, renal failure, urinary tract infection, septicemia, and heat stroke were statistically significantly higher on heat wave days relative to matched non-heat wave days, but risk of hospitalization for congestive heart failure was lower (Pâ€‰<â€‰.05). Relative risks for these disease groups were 1.18 (95% CI, 1.12-1.25) for fluid and electrolyte disorders, 1.14 (95% CI, 1.06-1.23) for renal failure, 1.10 (95% CI, 1.04-1.16) for urinary tract infections, 1.06 (95% CI, 1.00-1.11) for septicemia, and 2.54 (95% CI, 2.14-3.01) for heat stroke. Absolute risk differences were 0.34 (95% CI, 0.22-0.46) excess admissions per 100,000 individuals at risk for fluid and electrolyte disorders, 0.25 (95% CI, 0.12-0.39) for renal failure, 0.24 (95% CI, 0.09-0.39) for urinary tract infections, 0.21 (95% CI, 0.01-0.41) for septicemia, and 0.16 (95% CI, 0.10-0.22) for heat stroke. For fluid and electrolyte disorders and heat stroke, the risk of hospitalization increased during more intense and longer-lasting heat wave periods (Pâ€‰<â€‰.05). Risks were generally highest on the heat wave day but remained elevated for up to 5 subsequent days.Among older adults, periods of extreme heat were associated with increased risk of hospitalization for fluid and electrolyte disorders, renal failure, urinary tract infection, septicemia, and heat stroke. However, the absolute risk increase was small and of uncertain clinical importance.
Association between the Medicare hospice benefit and health care utilization and costs for patients with poor-prognosis cancer. - JAMA
More patients with cancer use hospice currently than ever before, but there are indications that care intensity outside of hospice is increasing, and length of hospice stay decreasing. Uncertainties regarding how hospice affects health care utilization and costs have hampered efforts to promote it.To compare utilization and costs of health care for patients with poor-prognosis cancers enrolled in hospice vs similar patients without hospice care.Matched cohort study of patients in hospice and nonhospice care using a nationally representative 20% sample of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries who died in 2011. Patients with poor-prognosis cancers (eg, brain, pancreatic, metastatic malignancies) enrolled in hospice before death were matched to similar patients who died without hospice care.Period between hospice enrollment and death for hospice beneficiaries, and the equivalent period of nonhospice care before death for matched nonhospice patients.Health care utilization including hospitalizations and procedures, place of death, cost trajectories before and after hospice start, and cumulative costs, all during the last year of life.Among 86,851 patients with poor-prognosis cancers, median time from first poor-prognosis diagnosis to death was 13 months (interquartile range [IQR], 3-34), and 51,924 patients (60%) entered hospice before death. Matching yielded a cohort balanced on age, sex, region, time from poor-prognosis diagnosis to death, and baseline care utilization, with 18,165 patients in the hospice group and 18,165 in the nonhospice group. After matching, 11% of nonhospice and 1% of hospice beneficiaries who had cancer-directed therapy after exposure were excluded. Median hospice duration was 11 days. After exposure, nonhospice beneficiaries had significantly more hospitalizations (65% [95% CI, 64%-66%], vs hospice with 42% [95% CI, 42%-43%]; risk ratio, 1.5 [95% CI, 1.5-1.6]), intensive care (36% [95% CI, 35%-37%], vs hospice with 15% [95% CI, 14%-15%]; risk ratio, 2.4 [95% CI, 2.3-2.5]), and invasive procedures (51% [95% CI, 50%-52%], vs hospice with 27% [95% CI, 26%-27%]; risk ratio, 1.9 [95% CI, 1.9-2.0]), largely for acute conditions not directly related to cancer; and 74% (95% CI, 74%-75%) of nonhospice beneficiaries died in hospitals and nursing facilities compared with 14% (95% CI, 14%-15%) of hospice beneficiaries. Costs for hospice and nonhospice beneficiaries were not significantly different at baseline, but diverged after hospice start. Total costs over the last year of life were $71,517 (95% CI, $70,543-72,490) for nonhospice and $62,819 (95% CI, $62,082-63,557) for hospice, a statistically significant difference of $8697 (95% CI, $7560-$9835).In this sample of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with poor-prognosis cancer, those receiving hospice care vs not (control), had significantly lower rates of hospitalization, intensive care unit admission, and invasive procedures at the end of life, along with significantly lower total costs during the last year of life.
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