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Towards improving prehospital triage for older trauma patients

Alshibani, A; Singler, B; Conroy, S; (2021) Towards improving prehospital triage for older trauma patients. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie , 54 (2) pp. 125-129. 10.1007/s00391-021-01844-4. Green open access

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Abstract

Background The proportion of older adults with major trauma is increasing. High-quality care for this population requires accurate and effective prehospital trauma triage decisions. Objective Anatomical and physiological changes with age, comorbidities, and medication use for older adults may affect the accuracy of prehospital trauma triage. Material and methods This narrative review focusses on age-related anatomical and physiological changes, comorbidities, and medication use for older adults with an emphasis on their impact on the accuracy of prehospital trauma triage tools. It also addresses the efforts to develop alternative triage criteria to reduce undertriage. Results Age-related anatomical and physiological changes, comorbidities, and medication use were shown to affect physiological responses to injury and mechanism of injury for older people. Current triage tools poorly predicted injury severity. Geriatric-specific physiological measures and comorbidities significantly improved sensitivity with much lower specificity. Assessing anticoagulant or antiplatelet use in head injury notably improved sensitivity to identify traumatic intracranial hemorrhage, neurosurgery or death with modest decrease in specificity. Conclusion Improving prehospital providers’ knowledge about the challenges of assessing older people with trauma may reduce undertriage. Assessing frailty could help in improving prehospital providers’ judgments. Future research is needed to improve triage decisions for this population.

Type: Article
Title: Towards improving prehospital triage for older trauma patients
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s00391-021-01844-4
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00391-021-01844-4
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Geriatrics & Gerontology, Gerontology, Injury, Geriatrics, Paramedics, Emergency, Preclinical
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/10132545
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