Emergency department visits rose to an all-time high in 2003, 113.9 million annually, up 26% from the number recorded in 1993, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a new report.
The number of emergency departments in the U.S. decreased 12.3% over the same period.
Adults, especially seniors, drove the trend, with emergency rooms reporting a 26% increase in patients 65 years and older.
Approximately 14% of ER visits resulted in a hospital admission in 2003.
On average, patients spent 3.2 hours in the emergency department and waited 46.5 minutes to see a doctor.
Read the CDC report.