December 17, 2018

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How Winnipeggers use the emergency room

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/9/2017 (443 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

If you visited the soon-to-be closed Misericordia Hospital's urgent care centre last year, chances are you were there because of an eye issue, stomach pain or an injury to your hip, leg or foot.

This is according to patient complaint summary data obtained by the Free Press through Freedom of Information requests. The data shed some light on how and why Winnipeggers use its emergency rooms and urgent care centres.

In total, the seven emergency departments triaged 276,331 patients in 2016 — from sore throats to severe trauma.

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If you visited the soon-to-be closed Misericordia Hospital's urgent care centre last year, chances are you were there because of an eye issue, stomach pain or an injury to your hip, leg or foot.

This is according to patient complaint summary data obtained by the Free Press through Freedom of Information requests. The data shed some light on how and why Winnipeggers use its emergency rooms and urgent care centres.

In total, the seven emergency departments triaged 276,331 patients in 2016 — from sore throats to severe trauma. 

Take a look at the reasons we visited emergency departments in 2016:

Compare hospitals by medical category

Below shows the number of medical complaints each emergency room or urgent care centre recieved by category. For example: a complaint of back pain would appear in the orthopedic category.

 

Top medical complaints Winnipeg's emergency departments

 

Abdominal pain: 24,433

Shortness of breath: 12,741

Chest pain (cardiac features): 11,392

Lower extremity injury: 11,108

Laceration / puncture: 9,798

Upper extremity injury: 9,686

How many patients visted each hospital

Health Sciences Centre, without surprise, brings in by far the most ER visitors -- more than 61,000 in 2016. Misericordia's urgent care centre -- the city's forth-busiest emergency department and slated to close in Oct. 2 -- had more than 38,000 visits in 2016.

 

Substance misuse

Initial complaints related to substance misuse accounted for just over 2 per cent of emergency department complaints in 2016.

2,903

Substance Misuse/intoxication

2,052

Overdose ingestion

1,445

Substance withdrawl

Mental health

Patients presenting deliberate self harm, suicide and depression when coming to the emergency department were the most common among mental health complaints in 2016.

 

Many 'minor' complaints

Between seven and nine per cent of all emergency department visits in Winnipeg were deemed "general or minor." While it's likely most of these visits were in fact minor, it's possible the main complaint the patient presented was a symptom of something serious. Lab results, tests and medication requests made up a significant portion of these cases.

There were 51 ring removals in 2016.

 
Icons by Delwar Hossain and Gan Khoon Lay from the the Noun Project

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