This paper reports register data concerning somatic and psychiatric hospital care on 117 battered women who were identified in a surgical emergency department and offered a treatment program. Data were collected during a period of 10 years before to 5 years after the battering in question. It was concluded that the battered woman seeks hospital care much more than the average woman of the same age. It is, however, not only traumatic injuries that bring her to the hospital, but also medical, gynecological, psychiatric, and unspecified disorders and suicide attempts. In this study it was hypothesized that this overuse of hospital care reflects the situation at home characterized by ongoing battering and other psychosocial problems. During the 5 years following the battering, the women did not show any signs of reducing their use of hospital care. It is alarming that this high use of medical care continues over years, and doctors should consider battering as one possible explanation for this phenomenon.
We investigated, by studying medical records, background factors and consequences of accidental falls of patients 65-74 years who attended the Department of Orthopedics' emergency clinic in Lund. We also assessed possible prevention measures. Fractures occurred in three quarters of the registered falls. Women were more prone to sustain fractures than men. Forearm fractures were commonest among women while hip fractures were commonest among men. One third of the patients were admitted to an orthopedic ward because of the fall. The patients who were less healthy had sustained fractures oftener and also needed more hospital care. Information regarding risk factors for falls and fractures were often missing in the patients' medical records. Impaired walking and balance, and medication increased the risk of falls. Such patients constitute a high risk group for future falls and fractures. A newly developed instrument is suggested as a routine in the emergency department to increase the awareness of risk factors for falls in the elderly. Satisfactory documentation is a prerequisite for further treatment and referrals to prevent falls and fractures.
To determine the current management of acute asthma in the emergency department and to evaluate outcome we reviewed the charts of 99 patients aged 15 to 55 years who presented to the emergency department of a tertiary referral, university-affiliated hospital and were subsequently discharged with a diagnosis of acute asthma. Outcome was evaluated prospectively, with a structured questionnaire, by telephone. During the visit pulsus paradoxus was documented in four patients. Spirometry was done in 63 patients; postbronchodilator values ranged from 0.9 to 4.1 L. A total of 92 patients received inhaled bronchodilator therapy, most by wet nebulization. Sixteen patients received anticholinergic agents and three received theophylline. Ingested corticosteroids were given to 27 patients. Of the 71 patients contacted, a mean of 12 days after the visit, 26 (37%) had sought further medical attention, 19 at the emergency department; 9 had required admission. Forty-six patients reported that their condition had improved, but over 60% continued to have cough, sputum production, nocturnal waking and early-morning chest tightness. The results indicate that asthma continues to be undertreated in the emergency department and highlight the importance of routine spirometry in all patients and the need for systemic corticosteroid therapy.
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Despite the negative physical and mental health outcomes of sexual assault, a minority of sexually assaulted women seek immediate post-assault medical and legal services. This study identified the number and types of acute forensic medical procedures used by women presenting at a hospital-based urgent care centre between 1997 and 2001 within 72 hours following a reported sexual assault. The study also examined assault and non-assault factors associated with the use of procedures. It was hypothesized that assault characteristics resembling the stereotype of rape would be associated with the use of more procedures. The multiple regression indicated that injury severity, coercion severity, homelessness, and delay in presentation were significantly associated with the number of procedures received. Findings provide partial support for the hypothesis that post-assault procedures would be associated with the stereotype of rape, and highlight homeless women as a group particularly at risk for not receiving adequate medical treatment following a sexual assault.
Utilization of acute health care services accounts for a substantial proportion of health expenditures in Canada, and is associated with compromised health and autonomy for older persons. Using the Resident Assessment Instrument for Home Care (RAI-HC), this cross-sectional study of 683 elderly home care recipients sought to distinguish clients who were more likely to use acute health care services; i.e., hospital admissions, emergency room visits. Clients with nutritional problems were 2.58 times more likely to have used acute health care services than clients without nutritional problems. Among clients with a poor social support system, those with nutrition problems were 5.95 times as likely to have used acute health care services. Poor self-rated health, and greater functional dependency were also signif- icantly associated with acute health care use. This study provides a profile of elderly home care clients who are at risk of using acute health care services, which may facilitate targeted efforts to prevent unplanned acute health care use.