Emergency room waits getting longer

Jan 15, 2008

Emergency room wait times in the United States are getting longer, especially for the severely ill, medical researchers said Tuesday.

A study from Harvard Medical School researchers at Cambridge Health Alliance said emergency room wait times increased 36 percent between 1997 and 2004.

The report, which analyzed the time between a patients arrival in the emergency department and when they were first seen by a doctor, found that the wait time increased the most for emergency patients suffering heart attacks. Those patients waited only 8 minutes in 1997, but 20 minutes in 2004. A quarter of heart attack victims in 2004 waited 50 minutes or more before seeing a doctor, Cambridge Health Alliance said in a release.

The number of emergency department visits increased from 93.4 million in 1994 to 110.2 million in 2004, while the number of hospitals operating 24-hour emergency departments decreased by 12 percent over that period.

"EDs close because, in our current payment system, emergency patients are money-losers for hospitals," lead author Dr. Andrew Wilper said in statement.

The findings were published in the journal Health Affairs.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Experts denounce clinical trials of unscientific, 'alternative' medicines

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New technologies are improving the lives of seniors

Aug 14, 2014

If Betty Lewis falls at the Edgemere senior living community, a pendant she wears around her neck will alert the staff. The device picks up the motion of the fall and notifies staff members at the North Dallas facility so ...

Designing exascale computers

Jul 23, 2014

"Imagine a heart surgeon operating to repair a blocked coronary artery. Someday soon, the surgeon might run a detailed computer simulation of blood flowing through the patient's arteries, showing how millions ...

Health record app for Google Glass developed by Drchrono

Jun 15, 2014

The future of Google Glass in health care appears to be by now not a question of if but a question of where and when. Philips Healthcare, in its explorations into health care's future, created a video that ...

Toward 24-7 glucose monitoring to help manage diabetes

Jun 11, 2014

Nearly half a million people with diabetes end up in emergency rooms around the U.S. every year due to the seizures and other consequences of dropping or spiking blood-sugar levels associated with the disease. ...

Why dogs are the new darlings of cognitive science

May 23, 2014

This will be his earliest memory. Red light, morning light. High ceiling canted overhead. Lazy click of toenails on wood. Between the honey-colored slats of the crib a whiskery muzzle slides forward until it ...

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0