Unplanned return visit to emergency department: a descriptive study from a tertiary care hospital in a low-income country

Nadeem Ullah Khan, Aga Khan University
Junaid Abdul Razzak, Aga Khan University
Ali Faisal Saleem, Aga Khan University
Uzma Rahim Khan
Mohammed Umer Mir
Bushra Aashiq


The objective of this study was to determine the incidence, causes, and factors associated with unplanned return visits to emergency department of a tertiary care centre in a low-income country. We conducted a retrospective chart review of all patients who had unplanned returned visit to our emergency department within 48 h of their initial visit during a 1-year study period. The incidence of unplanned revisits is 2%. Two-thirds (69%) of these patients were adults. The most common presenting complaint was fever (29%). During return visits 55% of patients required admission. On multivariable logistic regression model; fever, triage categories 1 and 2, and patients leaving against medical advice were the independent risk factors for revisits requiring admission. Infectious diseases are the leading cause of return visits in our setting.