Document Detail


Effect of the SARS outbreak on visits to a community hospital emergency department.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17338843     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
OBJECTIVES: To examine the effect of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) on visits to a community hospital emergency department (ED) during the early stage of the Toronto outbreak in 2003 and for the same period in 2004. We focused on visits for respiratory illness (SARS-like symptoms) and different age groups.
METHODS: This study is a retrospective review of ED discharge diagnoses obtained from a computerized database, examining the 4-week period starting March 28 for the years 2001-2004. We obtained the discharge diagnosis, age and visit date for each ED patient during the relevant time intervals, then compared visit data from 2003 and 2004 with a baseline derived from the average number of visits during 2001 and 2002. We constructed groupings based on age and respiratory-illness symptoms.
RESULTS: During the SARS outbreak in 2003, ED visits declined by 21% (95% confidence interval [CI], 18%-24%) over the 4-week study period. The greatest reduction was for combined infant and toddler visits (69%; 95% CI, 58%-79%); these did not recover the following year. However, during the SARS outbreak there was a large increase in the number of visits for respiratory illnesses in adults (61%; 95% CI, 46%-75%) and in teenagers (132%; 95% CI, 82%-182%).
CONCLUSIONS: During the SARS outbreak, total ED visits fell. The relative decline was most notable for infants and toddlers. By contrast, there was an increase in respiratory illness-related visits for adults and teenagers. In 2004, the year following the SARS outbreak, visit patterns shifted toward baseline levels, but ED visits by infants and toddlers remained depressed.
Authors:
Michael Heiber; W Y Wendy Lou
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  CJEM     Volume:  8     ISSN:  1481-8035     ISO Abbreviation:  CJEM     Publication Date:  2006 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-03-06     Completed Date:  2007-04-03     Revised Date:  2011-10-05    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100893237     Medline TA:  CJEM     Country:  Canada    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  323-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Department of Family and Community Medicine, Scarborough Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Adolescent
Adult
Aged
Chi-Square Distribution
Child
Child, Preschool
Disease Outbreaks*
Emergency Service, Hospital / utilization*
Female
Hospitals, Community*
Humans
Infant
Male
Middle Aged
Ontario / epidemiology
Retrospective Studies
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / diagnosis*,  epidemiology
Statistics, Nonparametric

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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