Admission delays' magnitude of traumatized patients in the emergency department of a hospital in Egypt: a cross-sectional study

Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg. 2018 Apr;44(2):225-230. doi: 10.1007/s00068-017-0762-1. Epub 2017 Mar 3.


Background: Injury is an escalating public health problem, representing about 9% of global mortality, which disproportionately impacts lower- and middle-income countries. There are approximately 12,000 annual fatalities from road traffic injuries in Egypt, but a little information about delays in seeking emergent care is available.

Objectives: To measure the time interval between sustaining an injury and presentation to the emergency department of Ain Shams University Surgery Hospital and to identify possible causes of these delays.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional, facilitated survey of a convenience sample of trauma patients presenting to the emergency department of Ain Shams University Surgery Hospital from 1 February to 31 May 2014. Data obtained included: demographic information, trauma incident details, and injury assessment.

Results: The average reported transport time for patients from injury to hospital arrival was 3.8 h, while the mean ambulance response time was 45 min. Referral from other hospitals was revealed to be a significant cause of delay (P = 0.004), while ignorance of the local ambulance phone number could not be confirmed as a cause (P = 0.2).

Conclusion: This study demonstrated that trauma patients at our hospital experience more than 3 h of delay until they reach the ED. It also identified the possible causes accounting for that delay. However, additional nationwide research is needed to establish the clear causation or association of these causes with the delay intervals.

Keywords: Ambulance; Delays; Emergency care; Referral; Trauma.

MeSH terms

  • Ambulances / standards
  • Ambulances / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Egypt / epidemiology
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / standards
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Multiple Trauma*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Patient Admission*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors