Open Access Research article

Characteristics of patients presenting to the vascular emergency department of a tertiary care hospital: a 2-year study

Ioannis Kotsikoris1, Theofanis T Papas1*, Nikolaos Papanas2, Dimitrios Maras1, Paraskevi Tsiantula1, Polyvios Pavlidis1, Maria Andrikopoulou1, Stamatia Kotsiou2, Efstratios Maltezos2 and Nikolaos Bessias1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Vascular Surgery, Red Cross Hospital, Athens, Greece

2 Second Department of Internal Medicine, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:481  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-481

Published: 3 November 2011

Abstract

Background

The structure of health care in Greece is receiving increased attention to improve its cost-effectiveness. We sought to examine the epidemiological characteristics of patients presenting to the vascular emergency department of a Greek tertiary care hospital during a 2-year period. We studied all patients presenting to the emergency department of vascular surgery at Red Cross Hospital, Athens, Greece between 1st January 2009 and 31st December 2010.

Results

Overall, 2452 (49.4%) out of 4961 patients suffered from pathologies that should have been treated in primary health care. Only 2509 (50.6%) needed vascular surgical intervention.

Conclusions

The emergency department of vascular surgery in a Greek tertiary care hospital has to treat a remarkably high percentage of patients suitable for the primary health care level. These results suggest that an improvement in the structure of health care is needed in Greece.

Keywords:
Emergency; Health care resources; Primary health care; vascular disease