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Indian J Palliat Care. 2019 Oct-Dec;25(4):535-538. doi: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_57_19.

Emergency Department Visits by Head-and-Neck Cancer Patients.

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Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.



This study was conducted to assess the disease status of head-and-neck cancer patients visiting the emergency department (ED) and their reason for presentation. We wanted to analyze if these visits could be avoided by incorporating any changes in our clinical practice.


This was a retrospective analysis of head-and-neck cancer patients attending the ED at a tertiary care cancer center in 2017. Clinical details were noted from the electronic medical records, and descriptive statistics was calculated. The analysis was performed using SPSS version 21 software.


Three hundred and thirty-nine head-and-neck cancer patients attended the ED. Of these, 80.2% were males and 48.1% of patients had oral cavity cancers. About 37.2% required palliative care treatment. Nearly, 47.2% of patients presented during their initial evaluation period. About 22.7% required hospital admission and only 14.7% required any sort of emergency intervention.


Majority of visits to ED could have been avoided with better counseling of the patients and their attendants.


Emergency visits; head-and-neck cancers; oral cancers; palliative care

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