Chief Complaints

A Large sized symptom based cohort study


Predicting mortality and readmission based on chief complaint in emergency department patients - A retrospective cohort study from a Danish university hospital using Danish Emergency Process Triage (DEPT)


The primary aim of this study was to investigate 30-day mortality and 30-day readmission among all acute surgical and non-surgical ED patients, using chief complaint as a predictor. Secondarily we present data on in-hospital- and 1-year mortality and 7-days readmission, and report discharge diagnoses of the 10 chief complaints with highest 30-day mortality.


In a one-year retrospective cohort study we included all adult patients attending the ED at Aarhus University Hospital triaged according to one chief complaint and not having a minor injury (n=19,325). Data was retrieved from the Danish electronic medical record system and the Danish civil registration system.


Primary: 30 days mortality and readmission.

Secondary: in-hospital- and 1-year mortality; 7-days readmission; discharge diagnoses.


This study may contribute to developing or improving standardized ED algorithms and risk stratification tools and thereby potentially improve outcome for the patients.Also, this study may be used as an impetus to more ED symptom-based research in general.

Conflicts of Interest



Emergency Department, Aarhus University Hospital