Clinical Characteristics Associated With Return Visits to the Emergency Department After COVID-19 Diagnosis

Iltifat Husain, MD; James O'Neill, MD; Rachel Mudge, MD; Alicia Bishop, MD; K. Alexander Soltany, BA; Jesse Heinen, BS; Chase Countryman, MD; Dillon Casey, MD; David Cline, MD


Western J Emerg Med. 2021;22(6):1257-1261. 

In This Article


Our study shows the key clinical characteristics associated with ED return visits for patients discharged with ED-positive SARS-CoV-2 testing. After controlling for other clinical characteristics, multivariate logistic regression found that history of diabetes mellitus, a complaint of myalgia, an increased pulse at triage, and transaminitis were independently associated with a return ED visit. As EDs across the country continue to treat COVID-19 patients, it is important to understand clinical factors associated with return visits to prevent unnecessary COVID-19 return visits. The clinical characteristics we found associated with ED return visits will need to be validated independently. This analysis is part of a forthcoming study encompassing multiple EDs and a larger patient population.

We encourage hospital operational teams to focus on the ED-discharge patient populations we have identified in our study to proactively prepare and attempt to prevent unnecessary ED evaluations in a time when hospital capacity is limited.