An attempt to measure the spread of emergency medicine internationally

J. T. Nagurney, C. Huang, R. G. Kulkarni, S. Sane, M. A. Davis, P. D. Anderson, S. V. Gaufberg, G. R. Ciottone, I. Motola, Y. Chang, G. Setnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


To determine the feasibility of using the internet to track the spread of emergency medicine internationally. This was an attempt to perform a descriptive cross-sectional study employing a web-based survey. Potential respondents were identified from multiple sources. The primary outcome was the response to 16 questions about EM care and the setting in which it was delivered for acute cardiac, paediatric, obstetrical illnesses and trauma. The questions were divided into six general areas and elicited for urban, semi-urban and rural settings. A series of four e-mails soliciting completion of the survey were sent to potential respondents. Simple descriptive statistics. We identified 358 potential respondents with valid e-mail addresses over a period of three years. Overall, 145 (41%) responded and 117 (33% 95% CI 28-38%) of them were complete and interpretable. There was one response from 54 and two responses from 29 countries, representing an overall response rate by country surveyed of 65% (95% CI 57-73%), but of all existing countries of only 43% (95% CI 36-50%). Based on sparse data, it appears that in urban areas, 47% (obstetrics) to 65% (paediatric) of acutely sick or injured patients are taken to an ED-equivalent. For rural areas, this range was 19% (obstetrical) to 40% (trauma). CT scans are available in 78% of urban ED-equivalents but 12% of rural ones. Haematocrits are available in 72% of rural settings. In 60% of responding nations, some type of EM training was available, and in 42% physicians went abroad to study EM. A survey of international EM is challenging to achieve because of difficulty in both identifying and in contacting potential respondents. Based on sparse data, population density (urban, rural) appears to be related to both the location to which acutely ill patients are taken for their care and to the level of technology available. The specialty of EM is now recognised internationally and education in EM is common.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-310
Number of pages9
JournalInternal and Emergency Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Emergency medicine
  • Epidemiology
  • International health problems
  • World health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Internal Medicine


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