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Table 2 Clinical characteristics and quality of care received among emergency department patients with an acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to time period

From: Improved care of acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in two academic emergency departments

Variables Period 1: 2000 (n = 72) Period 2: 2005–2006 (n = 200) Difference in means or proportions (95% CI)
Baseline clinical characteristic
Age, years 71 ± 9 72 ± 9 1 (−2 to 3)
Female sex 36/72 (50) 101/200 (51) 1 (−13 to 14)
White 58/68 (85) 156/200 (78) −7 (−17 to 3)
Current or former smoker 68/71 (96) 154/183 (84) −12 (−5 to −19)
Home oxygen use 15/47 (32) 72/200 (36) 4 (−11 to 19)
Acute exacerbation
Duration of symptoms ≥ 24 h 56/69 (81) 138/164 (84) 3 (−8 to 14)
Triggered by respiratory infection 45/69 (65) 116/196 (59) −6 (−19 to 7)
Respiratory rate, breaths/min 26 ± 7 23 ± 6 3 (1 to 5)
O2 saturation on room air, %a 89 ± 10 92 ± 6 4 (1 to 7)
Process of care
Recommended
Chest radiography 72/72 (100) 196/200 (98) −2 (−5 to 3)
Pulse oximetry 72/72 (100) 199/200 (99.5) −0.5 (−3 to 5)
Arterial blood gasb 14/58 (24) 12/166 (7) −17 (−5 to −27)
Received inhaled bronchodilators in ED 59/71 (83) 180/200 (90) 7 (−3 to 17)
Received systemic corticosteroids in ED 38/72 (53) 154/200 (77) 24 (11 to 37)
Received antibiotics in EDc 25/45 (56) 90/116 (78) 22 (6 to 38)
Sent home on systemic corticosteroidsd 6/11 (55) 13/31 (42) −13 (−22 to 47)
Not recommended
Spirometrye 7/35 (20) 19/200 (10) −11 (−24 to 3)
Received methylxanthines in ED 0 0 0
ED disposition
Hospital admissionf 58/72 (81) 166/200 (83) 2 (−8 to 13)
  1. ED emergency department
  2. Data are presented as number/total number (percentage) or mean ± standard deviation, unless otherwise specified. For certain variables, the sample size may vary because of missing data and/or restrictions to the denominators
  3. aRestricted to room air oxygen saturations (n = 53 for period 1, n = 49 for period 2)
  4. bRestricted to admitted patients
  5. cRestricted to patients with respiratory infection symptoms
  6. dRestricted to patients sent home from ED
  7. eExcluded patients enrolled in a substudy of acute spirometry in the 2000 cohort to reflect normal clinical practice
  8. fHospital admission was defined as admission to an inpatient unit, observation unit, or intensive care unit