National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 1995 emergency department summary

B J Stussman
Advance Data 1997 April 15, (285): 1-19

OBJECTIVE: This report describes ambulatory care visits to hospital emergency departments in the United States. Statistics are presented on selected patient and visit characteristics.

METHODS: The data presented in this report were collected from the 1995 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS). NHAMCS is part of the ambulatory care component of the National Health Care Survey, which measures health care utilization across various types of providers. NHAMCS is a national probability survey of visits to hospital emergency and outpatient departments of non-Federal, short-stay, and general hospitals in the United States. Sample data were weighted to produce annual estimates.

RESULTS: During 1995, an estimated 96.5 million visits were made to hospital emergency departments (ED's) in the United States, about 36.9 visits per 100 persons. Persons 75 years and over the highest rate of emergency department visits. There were an estimated 37.2 million injury-related emergency department visits during 1995, or 14.2 visits per 100 persons. There were 225 thousand visits related to injuries caused by firearms, including 144 thousand visits for gunshot wounds. One-fifth of the injury visits were work-related for persons 18-64 years of age. Four-fifths of the ED visits involved medication therapy with pain relief drugs accounting for 30 percent of the medications mentioned. Acute upper respiratory infection was the leading illness-related diagnosis for ED visits.

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