Hospitalisations due to exacerbation of asthma and COPD.
Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2012 Aug 7;132(14):1607-9
Authors: Melbye H, Moe PC, Arstad F
BACKGROUND: Patients with exacerbation of asthma and COPD often need instant treatment, and acute hospitalisation may be necessary. The aim of the study was to determine what sort of contact patients had with doctors, and what sort of treatment they received immediately prior to hospitalisation due to exacerbation.
MATERIAL AND METHOD: A questionnaire was distributed to patients aged over 18 who were hospitalised because of asthma or COPD exacerbation in Helgeland Hospital and the University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø, between January 2010 and January 2011. The patients answered questions on the duration of the exacerbation, their contact with doctors and their medical treatment prior to hospitalisation.
RESULTS: Data received from 100 of the 122 patients were analysed. The median duration of illness prior to the first contact with a doctor was four days. 52 of the patients had contacted their primary doctor first, 40 contacted A&E first, while eight contacted the hospital directly. The first contact with a doctor resulted in the hospitalisation of 56 patients: 21 (40 %) of those who contacted their primary doctor and 26 (70 %) of those who contacted A&E. 41 patients were hospitalised without being clinically examined by the admitting doctor the same day, 32 after a telephone consultation with their primary doctor or an A&E doctor. Patients aged over 70 were more frequently admitted without a clinical examination, as were patients who had been hospitalised previously.
INTERPRETATION: Patients with asthma or COPD exacerbation are often hospitalised directly after a telephone consultation with their primary doctor or an A&E doctor.
PMID: 22875124 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]