A survey of accident and emergency reporting: results and implications

Clin Radiol. 1985 Sep;36(5):483-4. doi: 10.1016/s0009-9260(85)80194-x.


Surveys have shown a consistent error rate in the detection of radiographically demonstrable abnormalities by casualty officers. A high incidence of medical litigation is related to casualty departments. For these reasons, a survey of hospitals in England and Wales was carried out to determine when and whether accident and emergency radiographs are reported. The practice in 146 hospitals was analysed. It was found that two-thirds of hospitals report all radiographs within 48 h. Seven per cent of hospitals either do not report any radiographs, report only radiographs of certain areas, or delay reporting for over 1 week. It is suggested that the patients attending as many as a quarter of all hospitals as casualties are at increased risk from errors which will inevitably be recognised late, and that these errors are directly attributable to shortage of staff.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents*
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Emergencies*
  • Humans
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling
  • Radiography
  • Time Factors
  • Wounds and Injuries / diagnostic imaging*