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Medical and surgical admissions to a district general hospital: the need for specialist adolescent services
  1. R Downey
  1. Stirling Royal Infirmary, NHS Forth Valley, Stirling, UK

Abstract

This study examines the need for specialist adolescent training and services in a district general hospital. This was done by assessing the admissions of 13 to 18 year olds inclusive over a 3 month period. The assessment of admissions included all medical and surgical admissions, presenting complaint and the surgical or medical specialty that they were admitted under.

Aim To assess adolescent medical and surgical admission to examine where specialist adolescent training and services may be best placed in a inpatient services in a district general hospital.

Methods The study was conducted over a 3 month period using the hospital electronic admissions and discharge database to find all admissions for 13 to 18 year olds inclusive. The database was then used to examine Immediate discharge letters for presenting complaints and the professionals involved in a patients care.

Results Over a 3 month period there were 146 adolescent medical and surgical admissions to the hospital. These adolescent patients were card for by eight different surgical and medical specialties. However the majority of adolescent admissions (38%) were under the care of paediatrics another 3% were admitted under surgical specialties but cared for on the paediatric ward. The study also found that a further third of patients were cared for by orthopaedics and a third general medicine. The most common presenting complaint in this group of adolescents was abdominal pain (24%) these patients were cared for by a combination of medics and surgeons. 23% of admissions presented with fracture or other traumatic injury and all were cared for by the orthopaedic surgeons. Of those patients transferred from the acute admissions unit 13% were admitted to medical wards and 87% were admitted to surgical wards.

Discussion This study aimed to examine were adolescent services may be best placed in a district general hospital out with paediatric specialist areas. This study has highlighted the need for specialist adolescent training in surgical areas particularly orthopaedics.

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