Evaluation of Cancer Patients Admitted to the Emergency Department within One Month before Death in Turkey: What are the Problems Needing Attention?


Background: Although previously studies have reported that most patients with malignancy prefer to die athome, this is not the real situation in clinical practice. Aim: In this study, we aimed to determine the characteristicsof Turkish cancer patients admitted to the emergency department (ED) within one month before death. Materialsand
Method: This descriptive retrospective study focused on questions about how often and why patients withcancer visited the ED before death. A total of 107 individuals with cancer were divided into 2 groups: Group 1,patients with at least one visit in the final 4 weeks; and Group 2, patients with no visit to ED. Demographic andclinical features were compared between the two groups. Statistical analyses: Descriptive statistical methods,statistical analysis for correlation, Student’s t-test, chi-square tests and logistic regression were used.
Results:At least one visit to ED within one month before death was reported for 64 (60%) of the 107 cases. Of these 64(Group 1), 38% (n=24) were discharged and 9% (n=6) died in the ED. The most common site of the primarytumor was the lung (n=24, 38%) and the most common symptom was dyspnea (92%). With the other 43 (40%)cancer patients not presenting to the ED within one month before death, they were more likely to be female withanother type of cancer.
Conclusions: Guidelines are needed for better management of cancer patients benefitingfrom visits to ED within the last month of life.