Emergency Department (ED) crowding is a worsening global problem caused by hospital capacity and other health system challenges. While patients across a broad spectrum of illnesses may be affected by crowding in the ED, patients with cardiovascular emergencies - such as acute coronary syndrome, malignant arrhythmias, pulmonary embolism, acute aortic syndrome, and cardiac tamponade - are particularly vulnerable. Because of crowding, patients with dangerous and time-sensitive conditions may either avoid the ED due to anticipation of extended waits, leave before their treatment is completed, or experience delays in receiving care. In this educational paper, we present the underlying causes of crowding and its impact on common cardiovascular emergencies using the input-throughput-output process framework for patient flow. In addition, we review current solutions and potential innovations to mitigate the negative effect of ED crowding on patient outcomes.
View details for DOI 10.1093/ehjacc/zuad049
View details for PubMedID 37163667