The most common trips to the ER for those in the U.S. occur for one of four things: a sprain or strain, a stomachache, a severe cold, or a superficial injury, The Atlantic reports.
In 2011, the same four ailments sent Americans to the ER in each region of the U.S., just in a different order data provided by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality shows.
After an average wait of 28 minutes, patients in the South will most likely be seen for a sprain or a strain, while those in the Midwest will be seen for respiratory infections. Patients in the West are most often seen for abdominal pain, while those in the Northeast make at rip to the ER for an injury that may or may not be a broken bone, but usually turns out to be a contusion.
The most common ailments sending Americans to the ER aren’t exactly surprising, and neither are the least-common conditions if you’re looking from a regional standpoint.
ERs near the coast are more likely to see water-related injuries or illnesses, while those in colder climates are likely to see frost bite.
The AHRQ data reinforces findings from 2010 that suggest more patients are seeking immediate medical attention in ERs rather than from their primary doctor.
The reason for more people stopping by the ER is partly due to primary care doctors being busier and are unlikely to offer weekend, evening, or same-day appointments. In the U.S. only 40% of primary care doctors manage patients after hours without referring them to the ER.
What Brings Americans to the ER? [The Atlantic]