Background Emergency department (ED) use has increased, resulting in overcrowding, longer wait periods and the decreased productivity of health care workers. The primary objective of this study was to describe the patients characteristics and the reasons for the readmission after an initial visit.
Methods This was a cross-sectional analysis of ED return admissions within 15 days after an initial visit, from August 1, 2013 to September 1, 2013. Patients aged 16 years or younger were enrolled in the study.
Results A total of 1418 children were seen in the ED during the study period and the return admission rate was 3.74% (n = 53). Patients had a mean age of 52.44 months (52.44 + 43.94). Respiratory conditions were more likely to return (48%), laboratory tests or X-ray were necessary in 54.9%, complications due to the primary condition was present in 45.1% and 88.2% of the patients were regular followed by private doctors.
Conclusions This study suggests that readmissions are frequently, costly and contributes to emergency room crowding. Like other analyses, child’s age, infection diseases and respiratory illness were the most important reasons for the readmissions. Further studies should be performed to understand this phenomenon and to test especific interventions to parental education and improvement of information system.