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Emergency department (ED) manipulation of complete minimally angulated distal radius fractures in children may not be necessary, due to the excellent remodeling potential of these fractures.
The primary objective of this study was to determine the proportion of minimally angulated distal radius fractures managed in the ED with plaster immobilization that subsequently required manipulation. Our secondary objective was to document, at follow-up, changes in angulation for each wrist fracture.
This retrospective cohort study reviewed consecutive records of all children with bi-cortical minimally angulated (≤15° of angulation in the sagittal plane and ≤0.5 cm of displacement) distal metaphyseal radius fractures, alone or in combination with distal ulnar fracture. Details of treatment, radiographic findings, and clinical outcomes during the subsequent orthopedic follow up were recorded.
Of 124 patients included in the analysis, none required manipulation after their ED visit. All but 14 (11.3%) fractures were angulated ≤20° within the follow-up period. Two (1.6%) fractures that were initially angulated ≤15° progressed to 30°–35°, but remodeled within 2 years to nearly perfect anatomic alignment. By 6 weeks post-injury, no patients had clinically apparent deformity and all had normal function.
Minimally angulated fractures of the distal metaphyseal radius managed in plaster immobilization without reduction in the ED are unlikely to require future surgical intervention.
There is a paucity of population-based research on health service utilization related to penetrating trauma in Canada, even though such trauma can result in serious injury or death, and gunshot wounds have been labelled the “the new public health issue.” Complete epidemiologic data, including emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations, for penetrating trauma is not available. The objective of this paper is to describe the epidemiology of ED visits for firearm-related and knife-related penetrating trauma in one Canadian province.
All EDs in the province of Ontario (pop. approx. 12 400 000 at the time of the study) submit data on ED visits to the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System. This database includes patients' demographic information (i.e., age, sex and geographic area of residence), the reason for the visit, disposition (i.e., admitted to hospital or sent home), and other diagnostic information. For visits related to injuries, the cause of injury is also reported (e-codes according to the Canadian Enhancement to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th rev [ICD-10-CA]). All patients seen in Ontario EDs for an injury related to a firearm, knife, or sharp object, were included in our study.
Of the 1.2 million ED visits in 2002-03 for trauma in Ontario, 40 240 (3.4%) patients were treated for injuries relating to penetrating trauma. Most patients were male, and most were 15–24 years of age. Penetrating trauma was frequently a result of knives or sharp objects (39 654 visits or 98.5%); only 1.5% (n = 586) of these injuries were caused by firearms. Of those hospitalized, 151 were related to firearms and 1455 were related to knives/ sharp objects.
Analyzing administrative data provides an estimate of the impact of penetrating trauma on a population, thereby providing prevention programs with data upon which to design their strategies. Evidence-based prevention strategies are needed to reduce the burden of penetrating trauma. Monitoring ED and hospitalization data over time will help to assess trends and provide evidence for the effectiveness of such strategies.
Alternative Funding Agreements (AFAs) were in place in 41 hospital emergency departments (EDs) in Ontario at the time of this survey (May to August 2005). Each of these 41 hospitals works with its own internal administrative model. The primary objective of this paper was to document the administrative models used in these Ontario EDs. The secondary objective was to inform current and future AFA EDs of the potential models.
Telephone surveys were conducted with a member of each of the 41 AFA workload model hospitals.
All hospitals provided at least 1 emergency physician to answer the questionnaire. Although most AFA hospitals divide the AFA fund pool on an hourly basis, there is impressive variation on premium values awarded for day, evening, weekend and night shifts. Other variations included holdback of funds for bonuses, distribution of non-OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) dollars, on-call allowances, and different pay scales for the general practitioners and locums working in some departments.
Allowing flexibility in distribution of AFA dollars to physicians in each group has helped make this program more acceptable. Many issues unrelated to funding remain to be resolved in order to stabilize ED recruitment and retention as well as improve work satisfaction. Further research on these latter topics is required to develop a fair and equitable funding arrangement that supports and enhances physician coverage in EDs across Canada.