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Emergency Department Visits for Suicidal Thoughts More Than Doubled in 7 Years

By Jennifer Thew RN  
   March 03, 2017

Patients visiting the ED for suicidal thoughts were more likely to receive inpatient care than patients visiting the ED for other reasons. Costs ranged from $600 million to $2.2 billion over the seven-year period.

From 2006 to 2013, ED visits by adults with suicidal thoughts more than doubled, according to an AHRQ statistical brief. On average, these visits rose by 12% each year over the seven-year period.

By 2013, 1% of all adult ED visits were related to suicidal ideation up from 0.4% in 2013.

The top five most common behavioral health conditions among ED patients with suicidal thoughts in 2013 were:

  • Mood disorders
  • Substance-related disorders
  • Alcohol-related disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders

Mood disorders were related to three-fourths of all ED visits related to suicidal ideation.

Patients visiting the ED for suicidal thoughts were more likely to receive inpatient care than patients visiting the ED for other reasons.

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Jennifer Thew, RN, is the senior nursing editor at HealthLeaders.


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