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Scott Med J. 1991 Aug;36(4):111-4.

Unplanned re-attendance in the accident and emergency department.

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  • 1Department of Accident and Emergency, Glasgow Royal Infirmary.


The notes of patients who re-attended the Accident and Emergency Department with a problem for which they had already been seen and treated were reviewed over a five-week period. Such patients comprised 2.5% of total attendances. The commonest reason for re-attendance was persistent pain following an injury and of such patients, about a half required a significant change in management. It was estimated that two-thirds of re-attendances were unavoidable. Twenty patients were admitted following re-attendance, and of these, two had serious medical conditions which were missed on initial presentation. The role of senior Accident and Emergency doctors is discussed in the light of these findings.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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