Overcrowding in the emergency departments: Challenges and opportunities for improvement

Muhammad Akbar Baig, Asad Mian, Fatima Najeed, Hira Shahzad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


With the advent of Emergency Medicine, one can observe an increase in the number of Emergency Departments (ED) across the country. However, most EDs struggle due to an overwhelming number of patients. Overcrowding can lead to delays in patient care. For a city like Karachi which is an active disaster zone, preemptive preparedness is required in the face of terror threats and such overcrowding needs to be decreased to a bare minimum. The most frequent causes of prolonged length of stay (LOS) in the ED include nonavailability of in-hospital beds, delays in response to subspecialty consultations and escalating medical expenses. All of these can negatively impact patient care by putting patient safety at risk and patient care in jeopardy. There is an increased risk of unintentional medical errors and a concomitant increase in unwanted lawsuits. A few simple interventions which may help alleviate this situation to some extent have been discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1344-1345
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • Emergency Department(s)
  • Length of stay
  • Overcrowding


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