Emergency Room Visits Surge

ATLANTA, Ga-Americans are rushing to their local emergency rooms more often, with ER visits jumping 14% in the last decade.

Hospitals had 35,000 more patients a day in the 1990s than the 1980s. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the country's aging population and growth explained the jump.

The most common reasons for a visit to the ER were stomach pain, chest pain, and fever. Adverse reaction sto drugs and complications from medical care added an additional 1.4 million visits in 1999, up 80% from 1992.

On average, patients waited 49 minutes to see a doctor in 1999, but individual results varied greatly depending on the hospital and situation.

Pain relief medication surpassed the previous cure all for children-antibiotics. Pain-relief became the most common drug given to children in the emergency room.

Source: www.washingtonpost.com