The Impact of the Lisbon Football Derby on the Profile of Emergency Department Admissions

André Almeida, Mónica Eusébio, Jaime Almeida, Matteo Boattini

Abstract


Background: Variations in emergency department admissions have been reported to happen as a result of major sports events. The work presented assessed changes in volume and urgency level of visits to a major Emergency Department in Lisbon during and after the city’s football derby.
Material and Methods: Volume of attendances and patient urgency level, according to the Manchester Triage System, were retrospectively analyzed for the 2008-2011 period. Data regarding 24-hour periods starting 45 minutes before kick-off was collected, along with data from similar periods on the corresponding weekdays in the previous years, to be used as controls. Data samples were organized according to time frame (during and after the match), urgency level, and paired accordingly.
Results: A total of 14 relevant periods (7 match and 7 non-match) were analyzed, corresponding to a total of 5861 admissions. During the match time frame, a 20.6% reduction (p = 0.06) in the total number of attendances was found when compared to non-match days. MTS urgency level sub-analysis only showed a statistically significant reduction (26.5%; p = 0.05) in less urgent admissions (triage levels green-blue). Compared to controls, post-match time frames showed a global increase in admissions (5.6%; p = 0.45), significant only when considering less urgent ones (18.9%; p = 0.05).
Discussion: A decrease in the total number of emergency department attendances occurred during the matches, followed by a subsequent increase in the following hours. These variations only reached significance among visits triaged green-blue.
Conclusion: During major sports events an overall decrease in emergency department admissions seems to take place, especially due to a drop in visits associated with less severe conditions.
Keywords: Emergency Service, Hospital; Triage; Sports; Soccer; Portugal.


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