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Unplanned return visit to emergency department: a descriptive study from a tertiary care hospital in a low-income country

Khan, Nadeem Ullah; Razzak, Junaid Abdul; Saleem, Ali Faisal; Khan, Uzma Rahim; Mir, Mohammed Umer; Aashiq, Bushra

European Journal of Emergency Medicine: October 2011 - Volume 18 - Issue 5 - p 276–278
doi: 10.1097/MEJ.0b013e3283449100

The objective of this study was to determine the incidence, causes, and factors associated with unplanned return visits to emergency department of a tertiary care centre in a low-income country. We conducted a retrospective chart review of all patients who had unplanned returned visit to our emergency department within 48 h of their initial visit during a 1-year study period. The incidence of unplanned revisits is 2%. Two-thirds (69%) of these patients were adults. The most common presenting complaint was fever (29%). During return visits 55% of patients required admission. On multivariable logistic regression model; fever, triage categories 1 and 2, and patients leaving against medical advice were the independent risk factors for revisits requiring admission. Infectious diseases are the leading cause of return visits in our setting.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan

Correspondence to Nadeem Ullah Khan, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, Aga Khan University Hospital, PO Box 3500, Stadium Road, Karachi 74800, Pakistan Tel: +92 21 34864573/34861149; fax: 92 21 34934294/34932095;e-mail:

Received August 5, 2010

Accepted January 12, 2011

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.