Nearly 2.5 million visits – excluding women in labor – were made to emergency rooms in the 28 public general hospitals in 2012. The most common age of patients were infants before their first birthday, adults aged 18 to 34 and elderly aged 75 and up, while children aged five to 17 are the least likely to need emergency care. Higher rates of emergency room visits were reported in the Jerusalem and Haifa regions and lower rates in the South.
These are some of the statistics released by the Health Ministry on Wednesday in a 71-page report on “Visits to Emergency Rooms in 2012.”
The rate of visits has been stable in recent years, between 351 and 366 per 1,000 – or one out of every three Israelis of all ages.
Males are more likely to visit emergency rooms for treatment than females (excluding pregnant women about to give birth).
The number of repeat visits to emergency rooms has also been stable in recent years.
In 2012, three percent return visits occurred on the same day of the original visit, and 18% within a month.
Three-quarters of non-delivery visits were due to diseases and the rest from trauma such as accidents and violent acts. A third of visits involving trauma were by men compared to one fifth by women.
The average visit was 3.38 hours, while the median stay was 2.42 hours in 2012.
Patients most commonly went to hospitals for emergency medical care between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., even though health funds’ urgentcare facilities are open then, and the next most common hours between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. The fewest visits were made late at night to early in the morning.
Of 1,706 patients who died in emergency rooms during the year, 60% passed away due to disease and 20% due to external causes.
The most common reasons for urgent care, according to the report, were “various symptoms,” traumatic injuries, infections, pregnancy and delivery. Among infants and toddlers, the most common reasons were fever, fractures, respiratory problems and physical trauma.
Between the ages of 18 and 21, trauma and wounds, intestinal and stomach infections, pregnancy, respiratory infections, gynecology conditions, vision problems and chest pains were the most common complaints.
Between ages 45 and 64, the most common complaints were chest pains, stomach and pelvic pain, back pain, vision problems, urinary complaints, ear infections and fever. In older people, chest pain, respiratory problems, urinary infections, fractures and other injuries and vision problems were most common.