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New horizons in understanding appropriate prehospital identification and trauma triage for older adults

Alshibani, A; Banerjee, J; Lecky, F; Coats, TJ; Alharbi, M; Conroy, S; (2021) New horizons in understanding appropriate prehospital identification and trauma triage for older adults. Open Access Emergency Medicine , 13 pp. 117-135. 10.2147/OAEM.S297850. Green open access

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Abstract

Caring for older people is an important part of prehospital practice, including appropriate triage and transportation decisions. However, prehospital triage criteria are designed to predominantly assess injury severity or high-energy mechanism which is not the case for older people who often have injuries compounded by multimorbidity and frailty. This has led to high rates of under-triage in this population. This narrative review aimed to assess aspects other than triage criteria to better understand and improve prehospital triage decisions for older trauma patients. This includes integrating frailty assessment in prehospital trauma triage, which was shown to predict adverse outcomes for older trauma patients. Furthermore, determining appropriate outcome measures and the benefits of Major Trauma Centers (MTCs) for older trauma patients should be considered in order to direct accurate and more beneficial prehospital trauma triage decisions. It is still not clear what are the appropriate outcome measures that should be applied when caring for older trauma patients. There is also no strong consensus about the benefits of MTC access for older trauma patients with regards to survival, in-hospital length of stay, discharge disposition, and complications. Moreover, looking into factors other than triage criteria such as distance to MTCs, patient or relative choice, training, unfamiliarity with protocols, and possible ageism, which were shown to impact prehospital triage decisions but their impact on outcomes has not been investigated yet, should be more actively assessed and investigated for this population. Therefore, this paper aimed to discuss the available evidence around frailty assessment in prehospital care, appropriate outcome measures for older trauma patients, the benefits of MTC access for older patients, and factors other than triage criteria that could adversely impact accurate prehospital triage decisions for older trauma patients. It also provided several suggestions for the future.

Type: Article
Title: New horizons in understanding appropriate prehospital identification and trauma triage for older adults
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.2147/OAEM.S297850
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/OAEM.S297850
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 Alshibani et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms. php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php)
Keywords: undertriage, geriatrics, injury, emergency, paramedics, frailty
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/10132544
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