Emergency department in hospitals, a window of the world: a preliminary comparison between Australia and China

Hou, Xiang-Yu and Chu, Kevin (2010) Emergency department in hospitals, a window of the world: a preliminary comparison between Australia and China. World Journal of Emergency Medicine, 1 (3). pp. 180-184. ISSN 1920-8642


Background: This study aimed to make a preliminary comparison of emergency department (ED) presentations between Australia and China. The comparison could provide insights into the health systems and burden of diseases and potentially stimulate discussion about the development of acute health system in China.

Methods: An observational study was performed to compare Australian ED presentations using data obtained from a single adult tertiary-referral teaching hospital in metropolitan Brisbane against Chinese ED presentations using public domain information published in existing Chinese and international medical journals.

Results: There are major differences in ED presentations between Australia and China. In 2008, 1) 35.4% of patients arrived at a tertiary teaching hospital ED in Brisbane, Australia by ambulance; 2) 1.7% were treated for poisoning; 3) 1.4% for cerebral vascular disease; 4) 1.7% for cardiac disease; and 5) 42.6% for trauma. The top events diagnosed were mental health problems including general psychiatric examination, psychiatric review, alcohol abuse, and counselling for alcohol abuse, which accounted for 5.5% of all ED presentations. Among ED patients in China, 6.7% arrived at a tertiary teaching hospital by ambulance in Shenyang in 1997; 3.7% were treated for poisoning in Shanxi Zhouzhi County People's Hospital ED in 2006; 14.9% for cerebral vascular diseases at Qinghai People's Hospital ED in 1993-1995; 1.7% for cardiac diseases at the Second People's Hospital ED, Shenzhen Longgang in 1993; and 44.3% for trauma at Shanxi Zhouzhi County People's Hospital ED in 2006. The top events were trauma and poisoning among the young and cerebral infarction in the older population.

Conclusions: Compared with Australian, Chinese ED patients had 1) lower ambulance usage; 2) higher proportion of poisoning; 3) higher proportion of cerebral vascular diseases; 4) similar proportion of cardiac disease; 5) similar proportion of trauma; and 6) little reported mental health problems. Possible explanations for these differences in China include a pay for service pre-hospital care system, lack of public awareness about poisons, inadequate hypertension management, and lack of recognition of mental health problems.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 42365
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2021 06:13
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2021 03:15
Uncontrolled Keywords: Australia; China; emergency department; emergency presentations; population health
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110305 Emergency Medicine
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420309 Health management
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/42365

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only