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Am J Emerg Med. 2010 Jan;28(1):56-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2008.09.035.

Demographics of patient visits during high daily census in a pediatric ED.

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  • 1Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.



The aim of this study is to describe patient demographics in a pediatric emergency department (PED) during low, average, and high daily census days.


Daily PED census, between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2006, was categorized into very low, low, average, high, and very high quintiles. Variables of interest included acuity, age, health care coverage, and disposition. chi(2) analysis assessed the significance of differences in proportions of patient populations across the census quintiles.


An increasing proportion of younger children (<2 years of age) received care as daily volumes increased (P < .0001). Proportions of Medicaid and self-pay patient increased, whereas that of commercially insured patients decreased as daily census increased (P < .0001). The distributions of patient acuity level (63.1% nonurgent) and admission rate (12.8%) did not differ significantly cross census quintiles.


Younger children with self-pay and government-assisted health care coverage make up a greater proportion of children seen in a PED during high census days.

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