Background: Interdisciplinary emergency departments (EDs) are confronted with trauma and nontrauma patients of any age group. Length of stay (LOS) and admission rates reflect both disease complexity and severity. Objective: To evaluate LOS and admission rates in different age groups according to traumatic and nontraumatic etiologies. Patients and Methods: During May 2011 a total of 4,653 adult patients (defined as ≥18 years old) seen in the ED of our municipal hospital were evaluated for their primary problem, Emergency Severity Index, LOS and admission rate. 1,841 trauma patients (mean age: 51.9 years; SD 22.5 years) and 2,812 nontrauma patients (mean age: 60.0 years; SD 20.4 years) were included. Results: Median LOS in the ED was 1:41 h (trauma) and 1:52 h (nontrauma). Trauma patients aged ≥70 years spent more time in the ED than nontrauma patients of this age group (patients aged ≥70 years median: 2:08 vs. 1:56 h; p < 0.0001). However, no significant difference was found in patients aged <70 years (1:33 vs. 1:48 h; p = 0.64). Comparing older with younger patients, median LOS within the ED was about 8 min longer in nontrauma patients aged ≥70 years (p = 0.22) and about 35 min longer in trauma patients aged ≥70 years (p < 0.00001). Conclusions: The correlation between age and LOS is stronger for trauma patients, which might indicate a special need for geriatric expertise in elderly trauma ED patients. Thus an interdisciplinary approach including surgical and geriatric expertise may be advantageous.

Weyrich P, Christ M, Celebi N, Riessen R: Triage systems in the emergency department (in German). Med Klin Intensivmed Notfmed 2012;107:67–78.
Pines JM, et al: International perspectives on emergency department crowding. Acad Emerg Med 2011;18:1358–1370.
Gardner RL, Sarkar U, Maselli JH, et al: Factors associated with longer ED lengths of stay. Am J Emerg Med 2007;25:643–650.
Strange GR, Chen EH: Use of emergency departments by elderly patients: a five-year follow-up study. Acad Emerg Med 1998;5:1157–1162.
Ciccone A, Allegra JR, Cochrane DG, et al: Age-related differences in diagnoses within the elderly population. Am J Emerg Med 1998;16:43–48.
Grossmann FF, Zumbrunn T, Frauchiger A, Delport K, Bingisser R, Nickel CH: At risk of undertriage? Testing the performance and accuracy of the Emergency Severity Index in older emergency department patients. Ann Emerg Med 2012;60:317–325.
Wuerz RC, Milne LW, Eitel DR, Travers D, Gilboy N: Reliability and validity of a new five-level triage instrument. Acad Emerg Med 2000;7:236–242.
Koehrmann M, Schellinger PD, Breuer L, Dohrn M, Kuramatsu JB, Blinzler C, Schwab S, Huttner HB: Avoiding in hospital delays and eliminating the three-hour effect in thrombolysis for stroke. Int J Stroke 2011;6:493–497.
Lendemans S, Ruchholtz S: S3 guideline on treatment of polytrauma/severe injuries: trauma room care. Unfallchirurg 2012;115:14–21.
Dellinger RP, Levy MM, Carlet JM, Bion J, Parker MM, Jaeschke R, et al: Surviving Sepsis Campaign: international guidelines for management of severe sepsis and septic shock: 2008. Crit Care Med 2008;36:296–327.
Atzema CL, Austin PC, Tu JV, Schull MJ: Emergency department triage of acute myocardial infarction patients and the effect on outcomes. Ann Emerg Med 2009;53:736–745.
Baum SA, Rubenstein LZ: Old people in the emergency room: age-related differences in emergency department use and care. J Am Geriatr Soc 1987;35:398–404.
Carpenter CR, Stern ME: Emergency orthogeriatrics: concepts and therapeutic alternatives. Emerg Med Clin North Am 2010;28:927–949.
Friedman SM, Mendelson DA, Bingham KW, Kates SL: Impact of a comanaged Geriatric Fracture Center on short-term hip fracture outcomes. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169:1712–1717.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.