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Anales de Medicina Interna

Print version ISSN 0212-7199


RODRIGUEZ MAROTO, O. et al. Are hospital emergency services an adequate place to die?. An. Med. Interna (Madrid) [online]. 2004, vol.21, n.12, pp.19-23. ISSN 0212-7199.

Objectives: To analyse the assistance procedure to the deceased in a Hospital Emergency Service. Methods: Descriptive retrospective study of the deceased during 2000 analysing the clinic variables, triage times, attention and total staying, diagnostic tests, treatments as well as the place of decease within the service and the family presence. Results: 146 patients were included, 80.6% of which were catalogued as life urgency (red code), conditioning significantly lower first exploration times than the rest. Diagnose tests were made to the 87%, 40% received resuscitation manoeuvres; finally 75.5% were given some medication. Major analgesia and sedative treatments were mostly employed with cancer patients. 42.2 % die within the first hour and 83% before six hours. Those who die after this time die in the observation box. 31% die accompanied by familiars. Conclusions: Our present "triage" system does not seem to be the adequate to initially evaluate the patients who die at the Emergency Service. Nearly all who die six hours after their entry die in the observation box, accomplishing one of its operation expectatives. We observe a scarce use of palliative treatments. Most of our patients die alone.

Keywords : Emergency services; Mortality; Epidemiology; Palliative treatments.

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