Emergency Department Presentations following Tropical Cyclone Yasi

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 10, Issue 6)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Article
Length: 4,655 words
Lexile Measure: 1580L

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Abstract :

Introduction Emergency departments see an increase in cases during cyclones. The aim of this study is to describe patient presentations to the Emergency Department (ED) of a tertiary level hospital (Townsville) following a tropical cyclone (Yasi). Specific areas of focus include changes in: patient demographics (age and gender), triage categories, and classification of diseases. Methods Data were extracted from the Townsville Hospitals ED information system (EDIS) for three periods in 2009, 2010 and 2011 to coincide with formation of Cyclone Yasi (31 January 2011) to six days after Yasi crossed the coast line (8 February 2012). The analysis explored the changes in ICD10-AM 4-character classification and presented at the Chapter level. Results There was a marked increase in the number of patients attending the ED during Yasi, particularly those aged over 65 years with a maximum daily attendance of 372 patients on 4 Feb 2011. The most marked increases were in: Triage categories - 4 and 5; and ICD categories - diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue (L00-L99), and factors influencing health care status (Z00-Z99). The most common diagnostic presentation across all years was injury (S00-T98). Discussion There was an increase in presentations to the ED of TTH, which peaked in the first 24 - 48 hours following the cyclone and returned to normal over a five-day period. The changes in presentations were mostly an amplification of normal attendance patterns with some altered areas of activity. Injury patterns are similar to overseas experience.

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Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A419357172