Clinical Predictors of 30-Day Emergency Department Revisits for Patients with Ureteral Stones

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Abstract

Purpose:

Patients with ureteral stones frequently present to the emergency department for an initial evaluation with pain and/or nausea. However, a subset of these patients subsequently return to the emergency department for additional visits. We sought to identify clinical predictors of emergency department revisits.

Materials and Methods:

We reviewed emergency department visits at our institution with an ICD-9 diagnosis of urolithiasis and an associated computerized tomography scan between 2010 and 2013. Computerized tomography studies were independently reviewed to confirm stone size and location, and degree of hydronephrosis. The primary outcome was a second emergency department visit within 30 days of the initial visit for reasons related to the stone. Patient characteristics and stone parameters at presentation were recorded. Univariable and multivariable analyses were done to identify factors associated with emergency department revisits.

Results:

We reviewed the records of 1,510 patients 18 years old or older who presented to the emergency department with a diagnosis of ureteral stones confirmed by computerized tomography. Of the patients 164 (11%) revisited the emergency department within 30 days. On multivariable analysis the presence of a proximal ureteral stone, age less than 30 years and the need for intravenous narcotics in the emergency department remained independently associated with an emergency department revisit.

Conclusions:

Younger patients, those with proximal stones and those requiring intravenous narcotics for pain control are more likely to return to the emergency department. Consideration should be given for early followup or intervention for these patients to prevent costly emergency department returns.

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