Now showing 1 - 10 of 10
  • Publication
    Journal Article
    The SMART-COP score performs well for pneumonia risk stratification in Australia's Tropical Northern Territory: a prospective cohort study.
    (2012-07)
    Robins-Browne KL
    ;
    Cheng AC
    ;
    Thomas KAS
    ;
    ; ;
    Davis JS
    To prospectively compare a modified pneumonia severity scoring system, SMARTACOP, with other severity scores in patients presenting with pneumonia to the emergency department (ED) of a tertiary referral hospital in tropical Australia. We conducted a prospective observational study of adult patients presenting with radiologically confirmed pneumonia over a 12-month period. The sensitivity of risk stratification scores were assessed against the need for intensive respiratory or vasopressor support (IRVS). There were 367 ED attendances for pneumonia of whom 77.1% were admitted to hospital, 10% required intensive respiratory or vasopressor support and 2.8% died. Mean age was 50.0 years, 52% were men and 59% were Indigenous. The sensitivity of a SMART-COP score ≥3, a SMARTACOP score ≥3 and a pneumonia severity index (PSI) class ≥3 for predicting IRVS was 97%, 97% and 78% respectively. We found no significant advantage of the SMARTACOP over the SMART-COP score for the prediction of intensive respiratory or vasopressor support, but both scores significantly outperformed PSI. The SMART-COP score should replace the PSI in tropical Australia and should be assessed in other tropical areas for pneumonia risk stratification in emergency departments.
      1328
  • Publication
    Journal Article
    Clinical risk for substance-affected patients attending an emergency department in the Northern Territory with police: A quality improvement initiative.
    (2019-03-28) ;
    Miller J
    ;
    Meagher J
    ;
    Barzi F
    ;
    Determine clinical risk for patients presenting to Royal Darwin Hospital ED when they cannot be cared for at the police watch-house (WH) or sobering-up-shelter (SUS) because of a medical concern. This is a retrospective cohort study of police arrivals from May to July 2016. Data collection included demographics and presumed cause of intoxication. Outcomes used as markers of risk were departure status, return visit within 24 h and frequency of ED attendance over 3 months. Social determinants of poor health were collected for the June cohort. There were 247 attendances with police by 170 patients. Most were alcohol affected (monthly rates between 83% and 92%). The 'did not wait/left at own risk' rate was high (41-44% vs 7.7%; P < 0.001) and hospital admission rates low (2-7% vs 29%; P < 0.001). Rates of representation (20% within 24 h), ED attendance (≥73% had a further visit within 3 months), comorbidities (46% with three or more chronic diseases), homelessness (66%) and alcohol dependence (85%) were high. Patients presenting more than five times over 3 months were less likely to wait (odds ratio 2.4, 95% confidence interval 1.1-5.2, P = 0.03). This is a common presentation at Royal Darwin Hospital ED by a patient group with high levels of comorbidity, homelessness and alcohol dependence. Nearly half self-discharged prior to medical assessment. These patients frequently re-attend the same facilities and enter into a cycle of non-intervention. Case management across services is needed to improve the opportunity that these patients receive appropriate medical, social and addiction interventions.
      1269
  • Publication
    Journal Article
    Safer coalmines, happier, healthier and more engaged canaries.
    (2020-07-06)
    Bonning J
    ;
    ;
    Skinner C
    ;
    MacDonald A
    Addressing and limiting burnout and its significant impacts on emergency physicians is an important and ongoing challenge, requiring much more than a focus on individual resilience. This is a key understanding which guides and informs the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine's holistic approach and advocacy efforts when it comes to the wellness of emergency physicians and the health systems in which they operate.
      1337
  • Publication
    Journal Article
    Comparison and outcomes of emergency department presentations with respiratory disorders among Australian indigenous and non-indigenous patients.
    (2022-01-19) ;
    Ghimire, Ram H
    ;
    Howarth, Timothy
    ;
    Kankanamalage, Oshini M
    ;
    ;
    Falhammar, Henrik
    BACKGROUND: There is sparse evidence in the literature assessing emergency department presentation with respiratory disorders among Indigenous patients. The objective of this study was to evaluate the clinical characteristics and outcomes for Indigenous Australians in comparison to non-Indigenous patients presenting to Emergency Department (ED) with respiratory disorders. METHODS: In this study, two non-contiguous one-month study periods during wet (January) and dry (August) season were reported on, and differences in demographics, respiratory diagnosis, hospital admission, length of hospital stay, re-presentation to hospital after discharge and mortality between Australian Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients was assessed. RESULTS: There were a total of 528 respiratory ED presentations, 258 (49%) during wet and 270 (51%) in dry season, from 477 patients (52% female and 40% Indigenous). The majority of ED presentations (84%) were self-initiated, with a difference between Indigenous (80%) and non-Indigenous (88%) presentations. Indigenous presentations recorded a greater proportion of transfers from another healthcare facility compared to non-Indigenous presentations (11% vs. 1%). Less than half of presentations (42%) resulted in admission to the ward with no difference by Indigenous status. Lower respiratory tract infections were the most common cause of presentation (41%), followed by airway exacerbation (31%) which was more commonly seen among Indigenous (34%) than non-Indigenous (28%) presentations. Almost 20% of Indigenous patients reported multiple presentations to ED compared to 1% of non-Indigenous patients, though mortality on follow up did not differ (22% for both). CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study may be an avenue to explore possibilities of implementing programs that may be helpful to reduce preventable ED presentation and recurrent hospitalisations among Indigenous population.
      2438
  • Publication
    Journal Article
    The Bali bombing: the Royal Darwin Hospital response.
    (2003-10-06) ; ;
    Fisher DA
    ;
    ;
    Read DJ
    ;
    Notaras L
    After the Bali bombing on 12 October 2002, injured Australians were evacuated to Darwin. The first patients arrived at the Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH) 26 hours after the blasts. RDH assessed and resuscitated 61 patients (including 20 intensive care patients, with 15 requiring ventilation, 19 surgery and more than 20 escharotomies). RDH evacuated 48 patients to burns centres around Australia within 36 hours of the first patient arrivals at the hospital and 62 hours after the bomb blasts. The response was successful, but improvements are needed in coordination between the different groups involved in such operations.
      1205
  • Publication
    Journal Article
    Patterns of paediatric emergency presentations to a tertiary referral centre in the Northern Territory.
    (2017-12)
    Buntsma D
    ;
    ;
    O'Neill E
    ;
    ; ;
    Acworth J
    ;
    Babl FE
    To describe epidemiological data concerning paediatric attendances at the ED of Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH). We conducted a retrospective cohort study of paediatric emergency presentations to the RDH ED during 2004 and 2013. Epidemiological data, including demographics, admission rates and diagnostic grouping, were analysed using descriptive and comparative statistical methods. We compared data with findings from a baseline epidemiological study by the Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative (PREDICT) conducted in 2004. A total of 12 745 and 15 378 paediatric presentations (age 0-18 years) to the RDH ED were analysed for the years 2004 and 2013 respectively. In 2004, the mean age of children presenting to RDH was 7.1 years, and 56.0% were female. Indigenous patients accounted for 31.2% of presentations at RDH and were significantly more likely to be admitted than non-Indigenous patients (31.6% vs 12.8%, OR 3.24, 95% CI 2.95-3.55). Children <5 years old accounted for the highest number of presentations (45.2%) and admissions (51.2%), and there was a high proportion of adolescent presentations (18.0%). Similar to the PREDICT study, viral infectious conditions (bronchiolitis, gastroenteritis, upper respiratory tract infections) were the most common cause for presentations. Key differences included a higher proportion of patients presenting with cellulitis and head injury at RDH and an increasing proportion of adolescent psychiatric presentations at RDH from 2004 to 2013. This study provides important information regarding paediatric presentations to a major referral hospital in the Northern Territory. Overall, there was a disproportionate rate of presentation and admission among Indigenous children. Other key findings were higher proportions of cellulitis, head injury and adolescent presentations. These findings can assist in service planning and in directing future research specific to children in the Northern Territory.
      1412
  • Publication
    Comparative Study
    Emergency department triage of indigenous and non-indigenous patients in tropical Australia.
    (2001-09)
    Johnston-Leek M
    ;
    Sprivulis P
    ;
    Stella J
    ;
    To examine the relationship between ethnicity and triage at a tertiary hospital emergency department. Electronic Emergency Department Information System data analysis was used to examine the relationship between ethnicity and triage allocation and process times between 1 April 1999 and 29 June 1999. Outcome measures were waiting times by triage category and admission rate by triage category. There were 9614 attendances: 1949 indigenous (20.3%), 7328 non-indigenous (76.2%) and 337 (3.5%) had no ethnicity recorded. Indigenous patients were more often female (1033; 53%, CI 51-55%) than non-indigenous patients (3078; 42.0%, CI 41-43%, P < 0.001). Indigenous patients presented more often with illness (70% CI 68-72%) rather than injury (30%, CI 28-32%), compared with the non-indigenous patients, illness (64%, CI 63-65%), injury (36%, CI 35-37%, P < 0.001). Indigenous patients were more likely to be triaged to national triage scale categories 1, 2 or 3 (36%, CI 34-38%) than non-indigenous patients (32%, CI 31-33%, P = 0.011). Admission rates for indigenous patients were higher than non-indigenous patients across all urgency categories and were within national triage scale guidelines. Non-indigenous admission rates were well below national triage scale guidelines for all urgency categories. The overall admission rate for indigenous patients was double (33%, CI 31-35%) that for non-indigenous patients (16%, CI 15-17%, P < 0.001). There was no significant difference between indigenous and non-indigenous waiting times. Indigenous patients are more likely to present with illness rather than injury and are more likely to require admission than non-indigenous patients. Indigenous patients are triaged in accordance with Australasian triage guidelines. Many non-indigenous patients should be triaged to lower urgency categories to allow resource allocation towards higher acuity indigenous and non-indigenous patients.
      1122
  • Publication
    Journal Article
    Community-acquired bacteremic Acinetobacter pneumonia in tropical Australia is caused by diverse strains of Acinetobacter baumannii, with carriage in the throat in at-risk groups.
    (2002-02) ; ;
    Hassell M
    ;
    ;
    Dwyer B
    ;
    Seifert H
    Acinetobacter isolates from eight subjects with community-acquired Acinetobacter pneumonia (CAAP), a major cause of fatal community-acquired pneumonia in tropical Australia, were phenotypically and genotypically confirmed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis to be broadly diverse Acinetobacter baumannii strains. Wet-season throat carriage of A. baumannii was found in 10% of community residents with excess levels of alcohol consumption, the major at-risk group for CAAP.
      1381
  • Publication
    Journal Article
    Use of Royal Darwin Hospital emergency department by immigration detainees in 2011.
    (2013-12-16)
    Deans AK
    ;
    Boerma CJ
    ;
    Fordyce J
    ;
    De Souza M
    ;
    ;
    Davis JS
    To describe the number and nature of emergency department (ED) attendances by immigration detainees in Darwin, in the Northern Territory, over a 12-month period. Retrospective observational study of immigration detainees attending the Royal Darwin Hospital ED during the 2011 calendar year. Number of ED attendances and primary diagnoses. In 2011, there were 770 ED attendances by 518 individual detainees at Royal Darwin Hospital. Those who attended the ED had a mean (SD) age of 27.6 (12.2) years, and 112 of them (21.6%) were children. Most (413, 79.7%) were male, and Iran and Afghanistan were the two most common countries of birth. We estimate that 50.1% (95% CI, 47.0%-53.2%) of immigration detainees in Darwin (mean, 776 per month; total, 1034), attended the Royal Darwin Hospital ED at least once in 2011. The most common primary diagnosis was psychiatric problems (187 attendances, 24.3%), including self-harm (138 attendances, 17.9%). In 2011, asylum seekers in immigration detention in Darwin had a high prevalence of unmet health needs and substantial levels of psychiatric morbidity. The primary health care provided to them was inadequate.
      1336
  • Publication
    Comparative Study
    Hot water immersion v icepacks for treating the pain of Chironex fleckeri stings: a randomised controlled trial.
    (2017-04-03)
    Isbister GK
    ;
    ;
    Weir RL
    ;
    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effectiveness of hot water immersion for relieving the pain of major box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri) stings.Design, interventions: Open label, randomised controlled trial comparing the effects of hot water immersion (45°C) and icepacks.Setting, participants: 42 patients with suspected C. fleckeri stings treated in the emergency department of the Royal Darwin Hospital during September 2005 - October 2008. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was pain severity, assessed with a visual analogue scale (VAS). Secondary outcomes included crossover to the alternative treatment, use of opioid analgesia, emergency department length of stay (LOS), and delayed urticaria. RESULTS: Of 42 patients (26 males; median age, 19 years; IQR, 13-27 years), 25 were allocated to icepack treatment and 17 to hot water immersion. The demographic and baseline VAS data for the two groups were similar. After 30 minutes of treatment, 11 patients (65%) treated with hot water and 14 (56%) treated with icepacks had clinically improved pain scores (absolute difference, 9%; 95% CI, -22% to 39%; P = 0.75). One patient treated with icepacks crossed over to heat immersion. Two patients in each arm received intravenous opioid analgesia. Median emergency department LOS was 1.6 h (IQR, 1.0-1.8 h) for icepack patients and 2.1 h (IQR, 1.6-2.8 h) for heat immersion patients (P = 0.07). Five of seven patients who were followed up developed delayed urticaria. CONCLUSION: Hot water immersion was no more effective than icepacks for reducing the acute pain of box jellyfish stings, but increased emergency department LOS by about 30 minutes. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, ACTRN12605000007639.
      775