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Eur J Emerg Med. 2013 Jun;20(3):205-9. doi: 10.1097/MEJ.0b013e328354dd09.

National survey of emergency departments in Denmark.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency at Brigham & Women's Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.



Emergency departments (EDs) are the basic unit of emergency medicine, but often differ in fundamental features. We sought to describe and characterize EDs in Denmark.


All EDs open 24/7 to the general public were surveyed using the National ED Inventories survey instrument ( ED staff were asked about ED characteristics with reference to the calendar year 2008.


Twenty-eight EDs participated (82% response). All were located in hospitals. Less than half [43%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 24-63%] were independent departments. Thirty-nine percent (95% CI 22-59%) had a contiguous layout, with medical and surgical care provided in one area. The vast majority of EDs saw both adults and children; only 10% saw adults only and none saw children only. The median number of annual visits was 32 000 (interquartile range, 14 700-47 000). The majority (68%, 95% CI 47-89%) believed that their ED was at good balance or capacity, with 22% responding that they were under capacity and 9% reporting overcapacity. Technological resources were generally available, with the exception of dedicated computed tomography scanners and negative-pressure rooms. Almost all common emergencies were identified as being treatable 24/7 in the EDs.


Although there is some variation in their layout and characteristics, most Danish EDs have a high degree of resource availability and are able to treat common emergencies. As Denmark seeks to reform emergency care through ED consolidation, this national survey helps to establish a benchmark for future comparisons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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