Chronic disease causes more visits to emergency departments while visits for injuries fall, US study finds

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 09 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1858
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

The mix of patients seeking care in emergency departments in California has shifted, a new study shows, as the proportion of visits by patients needing care for injuries fell slightly while the proportion seeking care for non-injury diagnoses rose significantly.

In a study published in the current issue of Health Affairs1 Renee Y Hsia, professor of emergency medicine at the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues analyzed data on emergency department visits in the state of California from 2005 to 2011.

They found that, overall, the total number of emergency department visits in California during that period climbed from 10.1 million to 11.9 million—reflecting the rise in the state’s …

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