The acute sick and injured patients: an overview of the emergency department patient population at a Norwegian University Hospital Emergency Department

Eur J Emerg Med. 2014 Jun;21(3):175-80. doi: 10.1097/MEJ.0b013e3283629c18.


Objectives: There is a lack of knowledge of the emergency department (ED) population in Norway; hence, the aim of this study was to describe the ED patient population at a Norwegian University Hospital.

Materials and methods: Prospective data of all ED patients admitted to the main ED over a period of 2 months were collected. The patients' presenting complaint was registered using the International Classification of Primary Care-2 (ICPC-2).

Results: A total of 3163 patients arrived in the ED during the study period. The majority (71%) of patients presented with a complaint that was defined as a symptom in ICPC-2. The most common symptoms were abdominal pain (13%), chest pain (13%), and dyspnea (9%). The complaints of the remaining patients (29%) were primarily traumas, infections, and other diagnoses.

Conclusion: ED patients have a diverse spectrum of presenting complaints and the majority of patients present with symptoms rather than a defined medical diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen, Acute / diagnosis
  • Abdomen, Acute / therapy*
  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chest Pain / diagnosis
  • Chest Pain / therapy*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cohort Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Emergency Treatment
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy*
  • Norway
  • Risk Assessment
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wounds and Injuries / diagnosis
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*