Impact Of Influenza Across 27 Public Emergency Departments In Australia: A 5-year Descriptive Study

BMJ Publishing Group
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Emergency Medicine Journal, 2012, 29 (9), pp. 725 - 731
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Objective To describe the incidence, characteristics and outcomes of patients with influenza-like symptoms presenting to 27 public hospital emergency departments (EDs) in Queensland, Australia. Methods A descriptive retrospective study covering 5 years (20059) of historical data from 27 hospital EDs was undertaken. State-wide hospital ED Information System data were analysed. Annual comparisons between influenza and non-influenza cases were made across the southern hemisphere influenza season (JuneSeptember) each year. Results Influenza-related presentations increased significantly over the 5 years from 3.4% in 2005 to 9.4% in 2009, reflecting a 276% relative increase. Differences over time regarding characteristics of patients with influenza-like symptoms, based on the influenza season, occurred for admission rate (decreased over time from 28% in 2005 to 18% in 2009), length of stay (decreased over time from a median of 210 min in 2005 to 164 min in 2009) and access block (increased over time from 33% to 41%). Also, every year there was a significantly (p<0.001) higher percentage of access block in the influenza cohort than in the non-influenza cohort
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