Only a minority of patients in the urological emergency unit need urgent urology care
Objective. To present patients who were examined, monitored and admitted at the urological emergency unit (UEU) at the University Hospital, Split during the summer and winter of 2010 and to establish who of them were really in need of immediate urological care. Methods. A retrospective study of patients and diagnoses of patients examined at the UEU was undertaken during two winter and two summer months 2010. We compared the total number of patients, the number of patients with urological issues, patients with urological emergencies, patients with non-urological issues, patients who were briefly monitored at the UEU, and patients admitted to the urology department, within these two periods. Descriptive statistic and chi squared tests were used. Results. During the winter period 465 patients were examined at the UEU and during the summer 733 patients. During the summer period there were statistically more urological issues (_2=12.3; p=0.005) and urological emergencies (_2=4.14; p=0.042) while in the winter period there were more non-urological issues and more patients were monitored at the UEU (_2=33.9; p<0.001). The most common diagnoses are: renal colic and urine retention, in both periods. Only 8% of patients in both the winter and summer periods were admitted to hospital after examination at the UEU, which represents the actual number of patients who needed immediate urological care. Conclusion. Of all the patients examined at the UEU, only a fraction constituted real, life-threatening urological emergencies. Primary care physicians and general emergency departments should be more educated in urological emergencies so that they can resolve more nonemergency patients themselves.
Emergency urology; Renal colic; Urine retention
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