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Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2010 Dec;135(50):2513-7. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1269420. Epub 2010 Dec 7.

[Demands for endoscopy service outside of regular hours: a retrospective study and literature analysis].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Abteilung für Gastroenterologie und Interdisziplinäre Endoskopie, Marienhospital Herne, Klinikum der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Herne.



Many acute care hospitals provide round-the-clock emergency endoscopy to guarantee immediate diagnosis and treatment of acute conditions of the gastrointestinal tract. This study is the first one to assess the demand for emergency endoscopy outside usual working hours.


This study evaluated retrospectively 315 consecutive emergency endoscopies done at an acute care hospital (575 beds; catchment population 100,000, in the Ruhr area of Germany) between 26.7.2003 and 01.11.2009 (6 years and 3 months) outside usual working hours (i.e. during the weekend and from 6 pm to 8 am during weekdays). This represents 50 emergency endoscopies outside working hours per 100,000 people per year.


56.8 % of the examinations took place during the weekend (Saturday or Sunday), 26.7 % during the night (10 pm - 8 am). The distribution of the different endoscopic modalities was: 228 EGD (72.4 %), 42 incomplete colonoscopies or recto-sigmoidoscopies (13.3 %), 28 retrograde cholangio- or cholangiopancreatographies (8.9 %), 16 complete colonoscopies (5.2 %) and one oral enteroscopy. 208 (66%) of endoscopic procedures were purely diagnostic without any therapeutic intervention. The indication for endoscopy was documented in 243 of the 315 procedures. In 76.5 % of those cases the suspicion of a gastrointestinal bleeding was the indication for endoscopy.


In an acute care hospital in Germany 50 emergency endoscopies outside working hours were performed per 100,000 population per year. This rate exceeds that reported in other European countries (Great Britain: 26.7, Norway: 24). Further studies are needed to evaluate the impact of different emergency endoscopic strategies on patient outcome and treatment costs.

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

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