Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New protocol could ease diagnosis of bacterial infections in infants

A new protocol could help emergency room physicians to rule out life-threatening bacterial infections among infants up to 2 months of age who have fevers, potentially eliminating the need for spinal taps, unnecessary antibiotic ...

Health

Medical scribes could help doctors care for more patients

Scribes help to increase doctors' productivity and shorten patients' stay at the emergency department, with no significant risk to patient safety, suggest the results of a randomised trial published in The BMJ today.

Cardiology

Clot buster use differs between black and white stroke patients

White stroke patients are much more likely than black patients to be treated in community hospital emergency departments with the clot-busting drug intravenous tissue-plasminogen activator, or tPA, according to preliminary ...

Cardiology

MEESSI-acute heart failure risk score validated

(HealthDay)—The Multiple Estimation of risk based on the Emergency department Spanish Score In patients with Acute Heart Failure (MEESSI-AHF) can accurately predict 30-day mortality in patients with AHF, according to a ...

Health

Why it's so important to have a primary care doctor

The United States health care system is generally centered around hospitals and specialty care. The value of primary care, however, has remained unclear and debated, in part due to limited research.

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Emergency department

The emergency department (ED), sometimes termed the emergency room (ER), emergency ward (EW), accident & emergency (A&E) department or casualty department is a hospital or primary care department that provides initial treatment to patients with a broad spectrum of illnesses and injuries, some of which may be life-threatening and requiring immediate attention. Emergency departments developed during the 20th century in response to an increased need for rapid assessment and management of critical illnesses. In some countries, emergency departments have become important entry points for those without other means of access to medical care. The abbreviation ER is generally used throughout the United States, while A&E is used in many Commonwealth nations. ED is preferred in Canada and Australia, and Casualty is common in Scotland.

Upon arrival to the ED, people typically undergo a brief triage, or sorting, interview to help determine the nature and severity of their illness. Individuals with serious illnesses are then seen by a physician more rapidly than those with less severe symptoms or injuries. After initial assessment and treatment, patients are either admitted to the hospital, stabilized and transferred to another hospital for various reasons, or discharged. The staff in emergency departments can include not only doctors and nurses, but physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners with specialized training in emergency medicine and in house Paramedics and/or emergency medical technicians, respiratory therapists, radiologic technologists, Healthcare Assistants (HCAs), medical scribes, volunteers, and other support staff who all work as a team to treat emergency patients and provide support to anxious family members. The emergency departments of most hospitals operate around the clock, although staffing levels are usually much lower at night. Since a diagnosis must be made by an attending physician, the patient is initially assigned a chief complaint rather than a diagnosis. This is usually a symptom: headache, nausea, loss of consciousness. The chief complaint remains a primary fact until the attending physician eventually makes a diagnosis.

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