Esther, G.E.; Norzuraida, Z. (2004) Psychiatric Emergency Service Utilization in University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC). Malaysian Journal of Psychiatry, 12 (2). pp. 51-56. ISSN 0128-8628
Background: Emergency room is the interface between community and health care institution. Psychiatric emergencies are common occurrence in A & E department and psychiatric services are often sought. Aim: (i) To observe the socio demographic profile of patients coming to A & E department with psychological problem. (ii).To identify the difference in presentation during 'in' hours and out-of hours. (iii).To identify the factors predicting admission. Method: This was a descriptive study of every consecutive patient presented to A & E department with psychological problem during a period of 2 months. The time that the patients were seen by trainee psychiatrists were divided into 2 categories :(i).'In' hours were from 8 am to 5 pm and (ii), out-of hours were after 5pm and before 8am. Relevant information were obtained from the daily 'worksheet' of medical officer on call and emergency registration forms from A & E department. The data were analysed using SPSS program. Results: There was no significant difference in sociodemographic data of patients that came during 'in' and out-of hours. Significant number of new cases and deliberate self-harm were seen during out-of hours Patients with past history of psychiatric admission and violent patients were commonly seen during 'in' hours. Significant number of patients who were seen during 'in' hours had been diagnosed to have either depression or schizophrenia, while adjustment disorder was commonly seen during out-of hours. Greater numbers of patients were sent home during 'in' hours compared to those who needed admission during out-of hours. Factors predicting admission were new cases and those seen during out-of hours. Conclusion: Patients seen in A & E department during out-of of hours should be carefully evaluated for psychiatric emergencies and were most likely to get admitted. New cases mainly consisted of suicide attempters and should be given adequate attention.
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