Introduction: Observation units (OU) are being increasingly used within the Emergency Department (ED) to optimize care and reduce costs, but their use for management of overdose patients is unclear. The present study examined demographics, disposition and outcomes for ED overdose patients managed in an OU. Methods: This was a secondary analysis of a prospective consecutive cohort of adult overdose patients managed in an OU in a single ED from March 2015 to September 2018. The primary composite study outcome was occurrence of any advanced airway intervention, adverse cardiovascular events (ACVE), or mortality. Secondary outcomes were disposition and return visits. Results: Of 946 patients screened, 648 were included in the cohort. Of 132 patients requiring additional medical management after the ED visit, 25 (18.9%) were managed in the OU; 88% of OU patients were discharged home, no patients required airway management, one patient experienced an ACVE requiring admission, and there were no deaths. Three OU patients (12%) had 30-day return visits. Conclusion: In this study, almost one-fifth of patients requiring additional medical management after the ED visit qualified for a low-risk drug overdose OU pathway. Overdoses from a variety of substances were safely managed with acceptably low adverse event rates.
|Number of pages||4|
|State||Published - 2 Jul 2020|