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Delayed access in West Bank

15th May 2006

Heilskov Rytter and colleagues found that delayed hospital access in the West Bank may worsen medical conditions. Patients whose transportation to emergency departments was delayed because of detours or checkpoints during the armed conflict in the Palestinian West Bank had a higher hospital admission rate than those who were not delayed.

Rytter collected data for all 2228 patients who presented to the emergency departments of three West Bank hospitals during one week. Of the 18% of patients who were delayed because of the occupation, 32% were admitted to hospital, this compared with only 13% of those who were not delayed, suggesting that restriction in hospital access may influence the severity of the medical conditions presented.

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