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Main reason last went to ER

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample adults and sample children who had gone to a hospital emergency room at least once during the past 12 months (ERYRNO), ERVISITWHY identifies the main reason for the last emergency room visit. Interviewers asked this follow-up question in 1999 only.

From a flashcard, respondents selected the main reason, from the following list:

(1) You don't need an appointment there
(2) Didn't know where else to go
(3) They won't turn anyone away
(4) No other place was open at that time
(5) A doctor said to go there
(6) It was a life or death situation requiring immediate attention
(7) Other reason

The Field Representative's Manual for 1999 cautioned interviewers, "When recording emergency room visits, do not include visits to outpatient clinics and urgent care facilities." The Manual also defined "hospital emergency room" as "an emergency care facility at a hospital. It is also sometimes referred to as an emergency department" and reiterated, "Do not include emergency care received at a clinic or HMO." Emergency room visits that resulted in admission for inpatient care were to be included. The definition of an emergency room and these qualifications were not routinely shared with respondents, however.


This variable is only available in 1999.


  • 1999: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children under age 18 who have gone to hospital ER 1+ times during past 12 months.


  • 1999