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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 9(4); 1998 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 1998;9(4): 515-522.
Predictive Factors of Unexpected Death in Emergency Department
Uk Jin Kim, Jeong Pil Seo, Sung Pil Chung, Tae Sik Hwang, Hahn Shick Lee
BACKGROUND: Unexpected deaths of the patients at ED are surprising to the medical staffs as well as the families. It may also increase the possibilities of medico-legal problems. This study was conducted to review the unexpected death in ED and find the predictive factors leading patients to unexpected death.
A retrospective study with reviewing available medical records of 183 patients who were expired at ED of Shinchon Severance Hospital from Mar. 1997 to Feb. 1998 and 103 patients of Youngdong Severance Hospital from Mar. 1996 to Feb. 1998 was done. Analyses were 4one on 30 variables of physical findings, laboratory results, procedures and therapies. We used univariate analysis, such as t-test and x2-test and multiple logistic regression analysis.
Of the total 286 deaths in ED, 153 cases were enrolled in this analysis. The number of unexpected deaths were 76. Age, mental status, fraction of neutrophil count, BUN level, whether endotracheal incubation was done, use of inotropics were the factors with statistical ,significance on the univariate analysis, but only comatose mentality, endotracheal incubated case, and use of the inotropics were significant on logistic regression analysis. The longer the ED length of stay, the higher the rate of mortality and unexpected death.
This result suggest that medical attention is needed on the patients with comatose decreased mental stylus, endotracheally intubated case and needing inotropic agents to prevent unexpected deaths. Shortening the ED length of stay may also be a factor for decrease the unexpected death rate.
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