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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 21(3); 2010 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2010;21(3): 347-354.
Effectiveness of a Specialized Emergency Department Unit for Cancer Patients in Management of Febrile Neutropenia
Shin Ahn, Kyung Soo Lim, Won Kim, Tae Won Kim, Yoon Seon Lee
1Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. ysdoc@amc.seoul.kr
2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
ABSTRACT
PURPOSE:
Our medical institute developed an emergency department (ED) cancer unit that specialized in the management of oncologic emergencies; it was named the cancer emergency room (CER). The object of our study was to determine improvements in patient management, especially management of febrile neutropenia (FN).
METHODS:
This was a retrospective study of 137 febrile neutropenic episodes, including 70 episodes occurring between May 2008 and August 2008, and 67 episodes between May 2009 and August 2009. Episodes were grouped into two categories: those managed in the CER and those managed in the existing ED main treatment area of the main emergency room (MER). The time interval between presentation at the ED and first antibiotic administration, termed the door-to-needle time, clinical outcomes, and length of inpatient hospital stay were analyzed for those admitted.
RESULTS:
The median door-to-needle time in the CER was 2 hours (0.3-5.1), faster than the time, 3.5 hours (0.9-6.9) in the MER (p=0.000). The length of inpatient hospital stay in the CER was 4 days (1-16), shorter than that, 6 days (1-51), in the MER (p=0.034). Twelve episodes (26.1%) had adverse events in the CER and 42 (46.2%) in the MER (p=0.023).
CONCLUSION:
Management of FN in a unit specialized for oncologic emergencies showed faster antibiotic delivery time, more favorable outcomes and shorter duration of admission. This specialized cancer unit in the ED enables prompt and relevant management in oncologic emergencies, including events related to chemotherapy toxicity.
Key words: Neoplasms, Fever, Neutropenia, Hospital emergency services, Anti-bacterial agents
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