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Under-triage of older trauma patients in prehospital care: a systematic review

Alshibani, A; Alharbi, M; Conroy, S; (2021) Under-triage of older trauma patients in prehospital care: a systematic review. European Geriatric Medicine 10.1007/s41999-021-00512-5. (In press). Green open access

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Background: It is argued that many older trauma patients are under-triaged in prehospital care which may adversely affect their outcomes. This systematic review aimed to assess prehospital under-triage rates for older trauma patients, the accuracy of the triage criteria, and the impact of prehospital triage decisions on outcomes. Methods: A computerised literature search using MEDLINE, Scopus, and CINHAL databases was conducted for studies published between 1966 and 2021 using a list of predetermined index terms and their associated alternatives. Studies which met the inclusion criteria were included and critiqued using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tool. Due to the heterogeneity of the included studies, narrative synthesis was used in this systematic review. Results: Of the 280 identified studies, 23 met the inclusion criteria. Current trauma triage guidelines have poor sensitivity to identify major trauma and the need for TC care for older adults. Although modified triage tools for this population have improved sensitivity, they showed significantly decreased specificity or were not applied to all older people. The issue of low rates of TC transport for positively triaged older patients is not well understood. Furthermore, the benefits of TC treatment for older patients remain uncertain. Conclusions: This systematic review showed that under-triage is an ongoing issue for older trauma patients in prehospital care and its impact on their outcomes is still uncertain. Further high-quality prospective research is needed to assess the accuracy of prehospital triage criteria, the factors other than the triage criteria that affect transport decisions, and the impact of under-triage on outcomes.

Type: Article
Title: Under-triage of older trauma patients in prehospital care: a systematic review
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s41999-021-00512-5
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s41999-021-00512-5
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10132540
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