Small Study: ED Overcrowding May Be Linked To Later PTSD Symptoms In ACS Patients.

Bloomberg News (2/12, Pettypiece) reports, “Chaotic, overcrowded emergency” departments (EDs) “may cause some heart patients to develop post-traumatic stress disorder,” according to research letter (2/12) published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers “tracked 135 patients who came to the” ED “at a New York City hospital with a condition called acute coronary syndrome [ACS].” The investigators “compared the traffic at the” ED “during the time they were there with whether the patients experienced symptoms of PTSD a month later.”

Modern Healthcare (2/11, Subscription Publication) reports that the researchers found that “there was a connection between a crowded ED and getting symptoms of PTSD.”

MedPage Today (2/12, Petrochko) reports that in particular, researchers found that “greater emergency department crowding was tied to higher levels of one-month PTSD symptoms (Β=2.0, P<0.05) induced by ACS." The findings "remained significant after adjusting for patient characteristics (Β=2.5, P=0.01) and length of stay (Β=3.0, P=0.02)." HealthDay (2/12, Reinberg) reports that study author Donald Edmondson said, "The modern emergency department is excellent at acute care, but a number of health system and hospital-level pressures have overcrowded them to a point where being treated there can, at times, worsen long-term prognosis." Related Links:

— “Crowded Emergency Rooms Linked to PTSD in Chest Patients,”Shannon Pettypiece, Bloomberg, February 12, 2013.

Posted in In The News.