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Half of patients with traumatic injuries miss golden hour

Half of patients with traumatic injuries miss golden hour

Posted April. 12, 2023 08:08,   

Updated April. 12, 2023 08:08


For the past five years, one in two patients with a time-critical condition such as myocardial injury and stroke has missed the “golden hour” for emergency medical services, according to the data submitted by the National Medical Center and released by Rep. Choi Hye-young of the National Assembly’s Health Welfare Committee on Tuesday.

The data said that almost a half of 1,450,000 critically ill patients had not made it to regional and local emergency departments nationwide on time. The survey observed the optimal time of emergency department (ED) arrival for patients with myocardial infarction as within two hours from onset; within three hours from the onset for patients with hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke, and within one hour from the onset for patients with critical traumatic injury. This number does not include dead-on-arrival (DOA).

As the recent case where a teenager in Daegu who fell from a height died by having failed to be admitted to the hospital shows, the number of patients left adrift is on the rise. Over the past five years, the rate of non-arrival to the ED for patients with critical conditions has increased every year, from 47.2% in 2018 to 27.3% in 2019, 48.4% in 2020, 50.8% in 2021, and a tentative estimate of 52.1% in 2022.

The rate of non-arrival to the ED has increased for every category of critically traumatic patients to the ED over the past five years, ranging from myocardial infarction and hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke to critical traumatic injury. In particular, the ED non-arrival rate for patients with critical traumatic injury increased from 48.5% in 2018 to 56.5% in 2022, up by 8 percentage points.

"Health authority should urgently prepare and implement effective measures to expedite the arrival of patients in critically emergent condition to the ED," Democratic Party lawmaker Choi said.