Characteristics of absconders from a general health service, Rasoul Akram Hospital in 2013
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Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Iran University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran
Department of Neonatology, Qazvin University of Medical Science, Iran
Kamran Aghakhani   

Department of Legal Medicine, Hazrat Rasoul Akram Hospital, Sattar Khan Str., Teh 0098, Tehran, Iran. Tel.: +98 21 66551201; mobile: +98 938 497 6598.
Submission date: 2014-07-26
Acceptance date: 2015-04-30
Online publication date: 2015-08-04
Publication date: 2020-03-26
Pol. Ann. Med. 2015;22(2):82–85
Absconding is an important health and security concern because of its adverse effect on patients, care providers, and the community. Studies are limited.

This study aimed to describe the characteristics of absconding events in Tehran.

Material and methods:
In this analytical cross-sectional study, 334 absconders from 34 192 patients who were admitted to the Rasoul Akram Hospital in 2013 and escaped from the hospital were recruited. These patients were evaluated based on variables that included age, sex, marital status, hospitalization duration, smoking, alcohol use, addiction, psychiatric disorders or underlying disease, type of insurance, cause of hospitalization, time of scape, and cost of treatment.

Results and discussion:
The study group consisted of 260 (77.8%) males and 74 (22.2%) females, with a mean age of 37.4 (SD = 17.1). Mean duration of hospitalization was 99 h (SD = 14.8). A total of 70 (21%) patients were smokers, 14 (4.2%) consumed alcohol, and 65 (19.5%) were drug addicts. Psychiatric disorders were observed in 18 (5.4%) patients, and underlying diseases were detected in 87 (26%). Higher rates of escape were observed in single men (N = 162; 62.30%) as well as married women (N = 52; 70.27%). The most common time of escape was 12:00 PM. The highest number of escapes was observed in the month of July.

The present study identified single males, younger patients, psychiatric disease, underlying illness, and addiction as common features of escapees. Particular attention in observing, improvement in observation methods, and staff focusing on engagement could be helpful in decreasing the number of absconding events.

None declared.
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