Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Variation in rates of hospital admission for appendicitis in Wales.

Br Med J 1978; 1 doi: (Published 24 June 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;1:1662
  1. R R West,
  2. M J Carey


    In a study designed to investigate the variations in rates of admission to hospital for appendicitis in Wales Hospital Activity Analysis listings were analysed according to the sex and age of the patients and the month and day of the week of admission. The incidence of hospitalisation was greatest among boys aged 10-14 and girls aged 15-19. The number of admissions was higher on weekdays than at weekends, but there were no seasonal variations. Durations of stay differed between the 17 health districts. We conclude that admission rates vary mainly because of differing hospital admission policies. Admission is not wholly governed by the sudden onset of abdominal pain; other factors include the threshold of consultation of each patient, the referral habits of general practitioners, the availability of hospital beds, and the degree to which doctors and patients expect admission.