Non-specific diagnoses are frequent in patients hospitalized after calling 112 and their mortality is high - a register-based Danish cohort study

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The number of patients calling for an ambulance increases. A considerable number of patients receive a non-specific diagnosis at discharge from the hospital, and this could imply less serious acute conditions, but the mortality has only scarcely been studied. The aim of this study was to examine the most frequent sub-diagnoses among patients with hospital non-specific diagnoses after calling 112 and their subsequent mortality.

METHODS: A historical cohort study of patients brought to the hospital by ambulance after calling 112 in 2007-2014 and diagnosed with a non-specific diagnosis, chapter R or Z, in the International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition (ICD-10). 1-day and 30-day mortality was analyzed by survival analyses and compared by the log-rank test.

RESULTS: We included 74,847 ambulance runs in 53,937 unique individuals. The most frequent diagnoses were 'unspecified disease' (Z039), constituting 47.0% (n 35,279). In children 0-9 years old, 'febrile convulsions' was the most frequent non-specific diagnosis used in 54.3% (n 1602). Overall, 1- and 30-day mortality was 2.2% (n 1205) and 6.0% (n 3258). The highest mortality was in the diagnostic group 'suspected cardiovascular disease' (Z035) and 'unspecified disease' (Z039) with 1-day mortality 2.6% (n 43) and 2.4% (n 589), and 30 day mortality of 6.32% (n 104) and 8.1% (n 1975).

CONCLUSION: Among patients calling an ambulance and discharged with non-specific diagnoses the 1- and 30-day mortality, despite modest mortality percentages lead to a high number of deaths.

Original languageEnglish
Article number69
JournalScandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine
Volume28
Issue number1
Number of pages6
ISSN1757-7241
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Ambulances
  • Emergency medical services
  • Mortality
  • Non-specific diagnoses
  • Outcome

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