A total of 37,152 patients attended the Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department of Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) from 1st January to 31st December 1998. Attendance during early hours (midnight to 0659 hrs.) constituted only 10.4% (3853 cases) whereas that for three other time periods of 0700-1159 hrs., 1200-1759 hrs., and 1800-2359 hrs. was 29.4% (10,927 cases), 30.8% (11,448 cases), and 29.4% (10,924 cases) respectively. Two hundred and fifty-one patients were direct admissions from other hospitals into our hospital wards and they attended the A&E department for registration purposes only. Of the remaining 36,901 that were triaged, 196 (0.5%) were resuscitation cases [Triage 1], 3648 (9.9%) were emergency cases [Triage 21, 18,935 (51.3%) were urgent cases [Triage 3], and 14,122 (38.3%) were non-urgent cases [Triage 4]. Despite fluctuations in monthly patient attendance, the proportions of patients according to time of attendance, age group, gender and triage categories remained similar throughout. As majority of patients attended during convenient hours (89.6% from 0700-2359 hrs.) and a high proportion of patients (38.3%) belonged to the non-urgent Triage category, we feel that public emergency services are possibly being abused.
This study was carried out to determine the associated factors and the reasons for inappropriate utilisation of Emergency Department (ED) services at Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital. A case-control study was conducted with 170 cases from ED and 170 controls from the Outpatient Department (OPD). A self-administered questionnaire was designed and used to obtain sociodemographic data, knowledge on the functions of ED and OPD, health seeking attitude and behaviour, and reasons for seeking treatment at ED. The study found that gender, marital status, family size, shift work, perceived illness, and knowledge on the role and functions of ED and OPD were significant associated factors. The three most common reasons for inappropriate utilisation of ED were as follows: "due to severity of illness" (85%), "can't go to OPD during office hours" (42%), and "ED near my house" (27%).
Study site: Emergency department, Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM)
Inappropriate utilization of Emergency Departments (ED) services may result in compromised management of patients requiring true emergency treatment. Significant attendance of non-emergency cases in ED was found in several countries. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital (HUSM) to determine the proportion of the inappropriate cases and the utilization pattern by time (over 24 hours and within a week) and by diagnoses. A sample of 350 cases was randomly selected from ED-HUSM register of the year 2000. A decision flowchart, which was adopted from 4 guidelines, was applied to classify appropriate and inappropriate cases. There were 55% inappropriate cases in this study. The inappropriate cases increased considerably in early morning, late evening, during the weekend and early part of the week. Most common diagnoses of inappropriate cases were upper respiratory tract infections, mild acute gastroenteritis and urinary tract infections. Considerable attendance of inappropriate cases calls for interventions.
Paediatric minor head injuries (MHI) are just as common in both bigger and smaller towns in Malaysia. Urban-based MHI are due more to motor vehicular injuries compared to rural-based MHI which are mainly due to non-motor vehicular injuries. The main objectives of this study were to compare incidence of admitted patients to accident and emergency departments of hospitals in two different settings in Malaysia, namely: Ipoh (urban-based) and Kota Bharu (rural-based); and to correlate to demographical characteristics, types of accident, clinical signs and symptoms, radiological and computed tomography (CT) findings, management; and finally, to determine clinical predictors of intracranial injury in MHI.