Reasons for non-urgent presentations to the emergency department in Saudi Arabia

Alyasin, Ali & Douglas, Clint (2014) Reasons for non-urgent presentations to the emergency department in Saudi Arabia. International Emergency Nursing, 22(4), pp. 220-225.

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The majority of patients who attend emergency departments (EDs) in Saudi Arabia have non-urgent problems, resulting in overcrowding, excessive waiting times and delayed care for more acutely ill patients. The purpose of this research was to examine the reasons for non-urgent visits to a Saudi ED and factors associated with patient perceptions of urgency.


We administered a survey to 350 consecutively presenting Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS) IV or V adult patients at a large tertiary ED in Riyadh region, Saudi Arabia, during 25 days of data collection in March 2013.


Over half of the sample usually visited the ED to access healthcare. The most common reasons for attending the ED were not having a regular healthcare provider (63%), being able to receive care on the same day (62%), and the convenience of and access to medical care 24/7 (62%). Approximately two-thirds of CTAS V patients and one-third of CTAS IV patients believed their condition was more urgent than their triage nurse rating.


Multiple factors influence non-urgent visits to the ED in the Saudi context including insufficient community awareness of the role of the ED and perceived lack of access to primary healthcare services.

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2 citations in Scopus
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3 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 68266
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Emergency department, non-urgent, patient perception, Saudi Arabia, triage system, CTAS
DOI: 10.1016/j.ienj.2014.03.001
ISSN: 1755-599X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Clinical Nursing - Secondary (Acute Care) (111003)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Emergency Nursing. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in International Emergency Nursing, VOL 22, ISSUE 4 [2014] DOI: 10.1016/j.ienj.2014.03.001
Deposited On: 12 Mar 2014 00:52
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2015 20:29

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