Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: To describe seasonal variations in epidemiology, management, and short-term outcomes of patients in Europe presenting to an emergency department (ED) with a main complaint of dyspnea. Materials and methods: An observational prospective cohort study was performed in 66 European EDs which included consecutive patients presenting to EDs with dyspnea as the main complaint during 3 72-h study periods. Data were collected on demographics, comorbidities, chronic treatment, prehospital treatment, mode of arrival of patient to ED, clinical signs at admission, treatment in the ED, ED diagnosis, discharge from ED, and in-hospital outcome. Results: The study included 2524 patients with a median age of 69 (53-80) years old. Of the patients presented, 991 (39.3%) were in autumn, 849 (33.6%) were in spring, and 48 (27.1%) were in winter. The winter population was significantly older (P < 0.001) and had a lower rate of ambulance arrival to ED (P < 0.001). In the winter period, there was a higher rate for lower respiratory tract infection (35.1%), and patients were more hypertensive, more hypoxic, and more hyper/hypothermic compared to other seasons. The ED mortality was about 1% and, in hospital, mortality for admitted patients was 7.4%. Conclusion: The analytic method and the outcome of this study may help to guide the allocation of ED resources more efficiently and to recommend seasonal ED management protocols based on the seasonal trend of dyspneic patients.


Dyspnea, seasonal variations, emergency department, older patient

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