Day: 2009-04-20

Emergency Department “Did Not Waits” – what’s the real story?

This appeared in yesterday’s West: “Urgent ED cases walk out before treatment”

More than three patients needing urgent attention leave the busy emergency departments of Perth’s major hospitals every day without being treated, new figures show. Documents obtained through Freedom of Information laws show that last year, 7215 patients across all levels of urgency attended the emergency departments at Royal Perth, Sir Charles Gairdner, Fremantle and Princess Margaret hospitals but left without being seen by a doctor.

They included 48 category 2 or “emergency” patients, typically including suspected heart attacks, and 1184 category 3 or “urgent” cases, which can include head injuries and major bleeding or fractures. Twenty of these patients were children.

This article looks at some important questions, but it fails to illuminate us on what the answers might be – and the information presented is a little misleading.