ER visits in the USA, 2011

ER visits 111.JPG

In 2011, there were about 421 visits to the emergency department (ED) for every 1,000 individuals in the population.

■ More than five times as many individuals who visited an ED were discharged as were admitted to the same hospital.

■ Among patients younger than 18 years, the most common reasons for admission to the hospital after an ED visit were acute bronchitis (infants younger than 1 year), asthma (patients aged 1–17 years), and pneumonia (infants and patients aged 1–17 years).

■ For adults aged 45–84 years, septicemia (infection in the bloodstream) was the most frequent reason for admission to the hospital after an ED visit.

■ Medicare was the primary payer for more than half of ED visits that resulted in admission to the same hospital.

■ The most common reasons for ED visits resulting in discharge were fever and otitis media (infants and patients aged 1–17 years), superficial injury (all age groups except infants), open wounds of the head, neck, and trunk (patients aged 1–17 years and adults aged 85+ years), nonspecific chest pain (adults aged 45 years and older), and abdominal pain and back pain (all adult age groups except those aged 85+ years).

■ Rural areas had a higher rate of ED visits resulting in discharge compared with urban areas.