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Ann Emerg Med. 2008 Jan;51(1):6-7. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2007.11.022.

Annals of Emergency Medicine Journal Club. Emergency department crowding is associated with poor care for patients with severe pain.

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1
Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

Abstract

WHAT IS ALREADY KNOWN ON THIS TOPIC:

Emergency department (ED) crowding may result in delays in the administration of medication such as antibiotics for pneumonia.

WHAT QUESTION THIS STUDY ADDRESSED:

Does crowding cause delays in treatment for pain?

WHAT THIS STUDY ADDS TO OUR KNOWLEDGE:

In this retrospective analysis of 13,578 patients treated at a single inner-city ED, patients with severe pain were slightly less likely to receive pain medications quickly when the ED volume increased.

HOW THIS MIGHT CHANGE CLINICAL PRACTICE:

Crowding may delay the administration of pain medication in some patients. Standing orders for the administration of pain medication might mitigate such delays.

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