Clinical Characteristics of those who Leave the Emergency Room Against Advice
A. Carmel, H. Amital, Y. Shemer, A. Sahar
Emergency Dept. and Dept. of Medicine B, Gertner Institute for Medical Service Research, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
The object of this study was to characterize those who leave the emergency department agmedical advice and to examine the short-term consequences. The study was conducted retrospectively 1992 and prospectively during May-August 1993 by telephone interviews. About 0.5% of all the patients who applied to the emergency department left against medical advice. Their main characteristic was that they were mostly young, single men. A wide range of complaints had brought them to the emergency department, very similar to that of the control group, but with a higher tendency to abuse drugs and alcohol. Most of those who left against medical advice had less severe disease than the controls. However 10% of them had to be hospitalized within the subsequent 2 weeks, in comparison with 4% of the controls. This study suggests that improving the efficiency of the emergency department will decrease the number leaving against advice.