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Open Access Research article

Triage vital signs predict in-hospital mortality among emergency department patients with acute poisoning: a case control study

Jiun-Hao Yu1, Yi-Ming Weng1, Kuan-Fu Chen12, Shou-Yen Chen1 and Chih-Chuan Lin1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Linkou, No. 5, Fu-Hsing St., Kuei Shan Hsiang, Tao-yuan Hsien, Taiwan

2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Keelung and Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan

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BMC Health Services Research 2012, 12:262  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-262

Published: 18 August 2012

Abstract

Background

To document the relationship between triage vital signs and in-hospital mortality among emergency department (ED) patients with acute poisoning.

Methods

Poisoning patients who admitted to our emergency department during the study period were enrolled. Patient’s demographic data were collected and odds ratios (OR) of triage vital signs to in-hospital mortality were assessed. Receiver operating characteristic curve was used to determine the proper cut-off value of vital signs that predict in-hospital mortality. Logistic regression analysis was performed to test the association of in-hospital mortality and vital signs after adjusting for different variables.

Results

997 acute poisoning patients were enrolled, with 70 fatal cases (6.7%). A J-shaped relationship was found between triage vital signs and in-hospital mortality. ED triage vital signs exceed cut-off values independently predict in-hospital mortality after adjusting for variables were as follow: body temperature <36 or >37°C, p < 0.01, OR = 2.8; systolic blood pressure <100 or >150 mmHg, p < 0.01, OR: 2.5; heart rate <35 or >120 bpm, p < 0.01, OR: 3.1; respiratory rate <16 or >20 per minute, p = 0.38, OR: 1.4.

Conclusions

Triage vital signs could predict in-hospital mortality among ED patients with acute poisoning. A J-curve relationship was found between triage vital signs and in-hospital mortality. ED physicians should take note of the extreme initial vital signs in these patients.