, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 259-264
Date: 10 Jun 2008

Safety Issues and Concerns for the Neurological Patient in the Emergency Department

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Abstract

Introduction

Patient safety in our medical system has been an increasing national concern. Neurological patient safety in the emergency department (ED) has not been studied. The purpose of this article is thus to describe the issues relevant to neurological patient safety in the ED, review the current status of the literature, identify specific patient populations at risk, and suggest applicable solutions.

Methods

Medline and PubMed literature review of key words associated with patient safety, neurological diseases, and EDs.

Results

Little data can be found on overall neurological patient safety in the ED, however data for specific neurological emergencies including subarachnoid hemorrhage, stroke, status epilepticus, and head and spine trauma does exist and is reviewed.

Conclusions

Limitations in ED education and access to neurological expertise may place some patients at risk. Recommendations for improving neurological patient safety in the EDs are suggested and include a discussion on barriers to implementation.