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COPD exacerbations in the emergency department: Epidemiology and related costs. A retrospective cohort multicentre study from the Italian Society of Emergency Medicine (SIMEU)

Published:January 22, 2018DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2018.01.010

      Highlights

      • AECOPDs accounts for 0.5% of ED visits in Italy.
      • Patients attending the ED for an AECOPD are old and frequently affected by several comorbidities.
      • The majority of patients are admitted, and costs are high.

      Abstract

      Acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPDs) frequently cause patients with COPD to access the emergency department and have a negative impact on the course of the disease. The objectives of our study were: 1) describing the socio-demographic and clinical characteristics, and the clinical management, of patients with AECOPD, when they present to the emergency department; and 2) estimating the costs related to the management of these patients. We conducted a retrospective cohort study in Italy, collecting data on 4396 patients, from 34 centres. Patients had a mean (SD) age of 76,6 (10.6) years, and 61.2% of them where males. >70% of the patients had a moderate to very high comorbidity burden, and heart failure was present in 26.4% of the cohort. The 64.6% of patients were admitted to hospital wards, with a mean (SD) length of stay of 10.8 (9.8) days. The estimated cost per patient was 2617 €. Conclusions: Patients attending the ED for an AECOPD are old and present important comorbidities. The rate of admission is high, and costs are remarkable.

      Keywords

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