Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Aim: The development of new treatment strategies for cancer patients resulted in an increase of cancer patient visits to emergency departments (EDs). The purpose of this study is to determine clinical characteristics, causes, and predictors of short term prognosis of cancer patient admissions to the ED. Materials and Methods: This prospective, clinical, and observational study was carried out in an adult ED of a tertiary hospital with an annual census of 55,000. All cancer patients visiting the ED within the 6-month period were enrolled into the study and followed up at the 1st and 3rd months afterwards. Records were based on a questionnaire including the patient's main complaint, detailed demographics, and health status. Results: During the study period, 324 visits of 245 cancer patients were recorded and evaluated. The most common complaints of ED visits were nausea, vomiting, and pain. Hospitalization rate for the 324 visits was 37.3%. Of the 245 patients, 44 (18%) died within a month, and a further 77 (31,4%) within 3 months. Presence of an active disease, performance score of 4, and procedure other than peripheral venous access were the factors predicting the 3-month mortality. Conclusions: Effective pain and antiemetic management at outpatient oncology departments can decrease cancer patients' ED visits. ED physicians might consider certain risk factors indicating higher mortality in short term in order to plan patients' ED management.


Cancer, Emergency, Outcome, Prognosis

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