Article Abstract

The effect of financial crisis on the profile of the patients examined at the surgical emergencies of an academic institution in Greece

Authors: Michael Kontos, Demetrios Moris, Spyridon Davakis, Dimitrios Schizas, Emmanouil Pikoulis, Theodoros Liakakos

Abstract

Background: Greece is suffering an economic recession of enormous magnitude, but whether its health has deteriorated as a result, has not yet been well established. We aim to present and analyze differences in demographics and clinical distribution of patients examined at the emergency room (ER) in the era of financial crisis.
Methods: A retrospective data analysis of all patients that were examined to surgical ER, between January 1st 2008 and December 31st 2014, was conducted. We only analyzed and evaluated data for the years 2008, 2011 and 2014. We evaluated the etiology of the examination (main complaint of the patient), the gender, the ethnic origin, the age and the severity of the disease, whenever it was feasible. The diseases that presented differences that were statistically significant were analyzed in terms of medical, social and financial aspects.
Results: The number of patients being examined in the ER in 2011 was higher compared with that of 2014 and to 2008 respectively (P<0.05). Throughout the years, there was a decline in vascular emergencies (veins, arteries, AAA; P<0.05). An increased incidence of soft tissue infections (STIs) was also found (P<0.05). Finally, an increased incidence of anal diseases and patients with abdominal pain was also noted (P<0.05).
Conclusions: Financial crisis seems to have a multivariable effect on epidemiology and clinical diversity of patients being examined in the ER.

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