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More patients are leaving EDs prematurely amid long wait times in California

More patients are leaving emergency departments in California against medical advice, which may be due to ED overcrowding, according to state data cited by California Healthline.

The number of ED visits that involved a patient seeing a physician but leaving before receiving all necessary medical care jumped 57 percent from nearly 225,000 visits in 2012 to more than 352,000 visits in 2017, according to data from California's Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

The number of patients who left the ED without being seen at all jumped from 315,000 individuals in 2012 to 322,000 in 2017.

These increases coincide with a 20 percent jump in ED visits over the same time period, along with a 15-minute increase in the state's average ED wait times.

This trend of crowded EDs and longer wait times could have negative implications for patients' health, as individuals who leave the ED prematurely face a higher risk of morbidity and death.

More articles on patient flow:
6 hospitals ending maternity services
Illinois hospital to end inpatient labor, delivery services May 31
Vermont hospital closes 105-year-old birthing unit

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