Table 1

Baseline characteristics in 982 patients ≥65 years of age admitted to acute care in a tertiary hospital from the ED in an 8-month period

ParameterNo prolonged ED stay (n=246)Prolonged ED stay (n=736)§
Patient related
  Age in years (SD)76.8 (7.2)78.1 (8.0)
  Gender (% female)*46.753.9
 Clinical condition
    (% Level I or II)***45.121.5
    (% Level III)***51.675.1
  Transported by emergency health services (%)*56.148.5
  Resuscitation during inpatient admission (%)**2.90.5
  Ventilator during inpatient admission (%)*3.71.4
  No of co-morbid conditions (SD)0.3 (0.1)0.3 (0.1)
 In-hospital related
  Admit to surgical unit (%)**40.226.1
  Admit to ICU (%)***22.46.7
  Hospital occupancy (SD)92.4 (2.3)92.3 (2.1)
 ED related
  Average No of hours from ED arrival to admission orders (SD)***3.5 (1.2)8.7 (4.4)
  Average No of hours from admission orders to ED departure (SD)***0.8 (0.7)6.1 (9.0)
  Average No of hours from ED arrival to ED departure (SD)***4.3 (1.1)14.8 (10.0)
  Arrival density index†† (SD)7.7 (2.4)7.6 (2.3)
  Overcrowding hazard scale‡‡ (SD)1.9 (0.3)1.9 (0.3)
  • ED, emergency department; ICU, intensive care unit.

  • Significant at: *p<0.05; **p<0.01; ***p<0.0001.

  • Differences between the groups were compared using the χ2 test for categorical data, an unpaired t test for normally distributed continuous data and the Mann–Whitney U test for data that were not normally distributed.

  • Length of stay (LOS) in ED ≤6 h, Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS) level I–III or ≤4 for CTAS IV–V.

  • § LOS in ED >6 h, CTAS level I–III or >4 for CTAS IV–V.

  • Average of proportion of hospital beds used/available measured at midnight daily.

  • †† A measure of how busy the ED is at the time a patient arrived.

  • ‡‡ Tests the combined effects of hospital and ED crowding.