To help put into perspective the importance of emergency rooms in Houston and America at large, we took a look into the statistics from the previous years concerning the emergency room visits. We wanted to know who it is that uses the emergency rooms. Which is the most frequent demographic in the emergency rooms?
Before we delve into the numbers, it is important to highlight the fact that there is a misconception among many Americans concerning the use of emergency rooms. Very many still believe that emergency rooms are meant for people involved in accidents and have horrific injuries. Little do most Americans know that emergency rooms are meant to help people with medical emergencies to access the quickest possible medical attention! Medical emergency rooms are also important to people who are uninsured as they can access medical attention without too much hassle. Emergency rooms are also vital when it comes to providing medical care to people on weekends and public holidays when most doctors’ offices are locked.
Here are some of the most conspicuous numbers together with a brief explanation and the projected trend of the same;
1. 145.7 million visits in 2016
In the year 2016 alone, a total of 145.7 million people visited emergency rooms in America. This is an increase compared to the 130 million who did the same in the year 2013. This is a positive sign showing that more people are embracing the idea of using the emergency room for their medical conditions. The number of visits is expected to go up by another 10% in the next two to three years owing to the education and sensitization programs by medical practitioners on the importance of emergency rooms.
2. 40.5 injury-related visits
This is a massive statistic that helps demystify the idea that only people involved in accidents actually use the emergency rooms. This is only a third of the total number of people who actually end up in an emergency room in America. The remaining two thirds is made up of people suffering from other ailments like asthma and many other chronic ailments.
3. Only 15 million of all the visits resulted in hospital admission
Of the 145 million people that visited the emergency room, only 10% ended up hospitalized. The other 90% or so were discharged upon treatment. This only goes to show that most of the cases reported to the emergency rooms are only mild and don’t require further medical attention. Most of the cases that required hospitalization were cases of heart attacks, trauma, migraines and other serious ailments. Those with minor ailments like sneezing, excessive coughing and those who visited as a precautionary measure are most of the time treated and discharged to go home.
5. Only 2 milion ended up being admitted to critical care units
The other important thing to note is the number of people who ended up in ICUs and other critical care units. These are essentially people who were on the verge of losing their lives but the efforts of the physicians and other practitioners in the emergency rooms helped save their lives. These are largely people involved in accidents or are struck my misfortunes like heart attacks. They are a small number but they require a lot of attention and care. They are the people who are normally given the priority using triage and take up most of the time in emergency rooms.
6. Children under the age of 15 make up the highest percentile of visitors to emergency rooms
More than 30% of all recorded emergency room visits in America were by patients with 15 or less years. This is a massive number but it is easy to see why. In this stage of life, kids are playful and not cautious. Kids in this age group are therefore prone to accidents and injuries. Their immunities are also pretty weak and any sort of infection will most probably take a toll on them. A good statistic worth mentioning is that only about 5% of these kids end up being hospital which shows that most of the ailments are only mild.
7. 25 in every 100 of all ER visitors are between 25 and 44 years old
A quarter of all the emergency room visitors are in the 25-44 age group. These are the people who are well informed and are cautious in life. They are equally outgoing and daring and are prone to illnesses and injuries. These people make up the largest number of people who end up being admitted in the intensive care units. This is because most of the people in this age group are brought to the ERs because of accidents either at work or on the road. Reckless driving is one of the leading causes of deaths in America and this is one of the most affected age groups.
From the above mentioned numbers, we can clearly see that emergency rooms are home to both mild and serious ailments. If you were thinking that a minor headache cannot be attended to in an emergency room, then you need to revise your understanding of an emergency room.