The association between length of stay in the emergency department and short term mortality
Background: The detrimental effects of increased length of stay at the emergency department (ED-LOS) for patient outcome have been sparsely studied in the Swedish setting. Our aim was to further explore the association between ED-LOS and short term mortality in patients admitted to the EDs of two large University hospitals in Sweden. Methods: All adult patients (> 18 years) visiting the ED at the Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden, from 1/1/2010 to 1/1/2015 (n=639 385) were retrospectively
... re retrospectively included. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine association between ED-LOS and 7 and 30-day mortality rates. All patients were triaged according to the RETTS-A into different levels of medical urgency and subsequently separated into five quintiles of ED-LOS. Results: We observed that prolonged ED-LOS was associated with increased mortality for patients with lowest triage priority (risk estimates for 30-day mortality were OR 1.49 (CI 95% 1.20-1.85) for patients with triage priority group 4 and the highest quintile of ED-LOS. No such association was observed in patients with the highest triage priority group and in patients admitted to in-hospital care. Conclusion : Our data suggest that increased ED-LOS could be associated with slightly increased short term mortality in patients with lower clinical urgency and dismissed from the ED but that this does not include patients admitted to in-hospital care.