Access block: problems and progress

Daniel M Fatovich
Med J Aust 2003; 178 (10): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2003.tb05345.x
Published online: 19 May 2003

To the Editor: The editorial by Cameron and Campbell on access block is an excellent summary of the causes and potential solutions to access block.1 The effects of overcrowding in the emergency department (ED) have been previously reported, including risks to patient safety, prolonged pain and suffering, and decreased clinical productivity and effectiveness.2 Access to emergency care is impaired.


  • 1. Cameron PA, Campbell DA. Access block: problems and progress [editorial]. Med J Aust 2003; 178: 99-100. <eMJA full text>
  • 2. Fatovich DM. Recent developments: Emergency Medicine. BMJ 2002; 324: 958.
  • 3. Derlet RW. Overcrowding in emergency departments: increased demand and decreased capacity. Ann Emerg Med 2002; 39: 430-432.
  • 4. Brewster LR, Rudell LS, Lesser CS. Emergency Room Diversions: a symptom of hospitals under stress. Issue Brief. Center for Studying Health System Change. No. 38. May 2001.
  • 5. Kellerman AL. Déjà vu [editorial]. Ann Emerg Med 2000; 35: 83-85.
  • 6. Bagust A, Place M, Posnett JW. Dynamics of bed use in accommodating emergency admissions: stochastic simulation model. BMJ 1999; 319: 155-158.
  • 7. Coles C. Tony sets ward record. The Sun Newspaper Online. Available at:
  • 8. Derlet RW, Richards JR. Overcrowding in the nation's emergency departments: complex causes and disturbing effects. Ann Emerg Med 2000; 35: 63-68.


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