Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Aims: To determine the decision time (DT) in the Emergency Department (ED) to establish the factors that prolong DT. Methods: This was a prospective study performed between November 17 and December 18, 2005, involving patients who had been admitted to the ED and whose transfer to other hospitals was decided. We used ´´The Patient Transfer Questionnaire´´, which included the date of transfer, demographics of the patient, and the physician´s decision of the time of transfer. The statistical variables were assessed using SPSS. Results: A total of 507 patients were included, of whom 53.4% were male. The most frequent diagnoses in transferred infants, children, adolescents, and adults were infection, convulsion or epilepsy, acute abdomen, and coronary syndrome, respectively. There was a significant correlation between age groups and the main diagnosis (trauma vs. no trauma). The mean DT was 37.7 ± 1.6 min. The longest DT was due to a lack of critical care beds; the shortest DT was determined for infants. The differences in DT between age groups, reasons for transport, and the patients´ in-hospital consultation before the decision to transport were statistically significant. Age groups were found to be the most significant indicators in the DT. Conclusion: The organization of the services in the hospital directly affects the secondary DT.


Emergency service, secondary transport, transport decision time

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