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Pediatría Atención Primaria

versión impresa ISSN 1139-7632


PINEIRO PEREZ, R et al. Frequent users in Paediatric Emergency Departments: Are parents solely to blame?. Rev Pediatr Aten Primaria [online]. 2017, vol.19, n.74, pp.137-145. ISSN 1139-7632.


there is little information regarding the abuse of consultations in the Pediatric Emergency Departments (PED). The aims of the study are to determine the characteristics of frequent users in a public general hospital, and to estimate the concerns of parents guided by responses to a telephone survey.

Patients and methods

a descriptive, cross-sectional, unicentric and local study was conducted from January to December 2015. All children ≤ 14 years visiting Pediatric Emergency Departments ≥ 10 times were included. Through a telephone interview, parents were asked whether or not they would go to the Emergency Room for 25 supposed clinical cases. SPSS v22.0(r) was used for statistical analysis.


21 children (52.2% males) visited PED ≥ 10 times, involving 246 clinical cases (1.17% of total emergencies). Median age was 1.5 years. The ratio of the number of visits at Primary Care vs. PED" was < 1 in 38%. Admission was required only in 9 of 246 (3.65%) children. Visits that could not be solved at Primary Care were observed only in 74 cases (30.1%). Reasons for a pediatric visit and personal history were related.


to determine which patients are frequent users is an easy task. To contact the parents of these children and to provide health education could be a feasible and efficient chance, which would be accepted by the population, it also would improve the perceived quality and could save costs to the National Health System. This kind of visits promoting health education are part of a project which will be implemented in our hospital in 2017.

Palabras clave : Community surveys; Health resources; Children; Emergency Service; Medical overuse.

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