Predictors of ambulance transport to first health facility among injured patients in southern Sri Lanka.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article;Multicenter Study)

BACKGROUND: Injuries account for about 13% of all registered deaths in Sri Lanka and are the leading cause of admission to public hospitals. Prehospital trauma care is new to Sri Lanka, and in 2016, a free ambulance service was launched in the Western and Southern provinces. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to identify the proportion of admitted injury patients at a tertiary hospital who used an ambulance to get to the first health facility and examine patient demographics, injury event, and injury type as predictors of ambulance transport. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was administered to 405 patients who were admitted to the emergency trauma center at Teaching Hospital Karapitiya (THK) in Galle, Sri Lanka. Descriptive statistics were tabulated to summarize prehospital transportation variables. Logistic regression models were created to examine predictors of ambulance transport, and ArcGIS Pro was used to calculate the distance between injury location and first facility and THK. RESULTS: The proportion of patients with injuries who used an ambulance to get to the first health facility was 20.5%. Factors that were significantly associated with ambulance use were older age, injury mechanism, alcohol use prior to injury, location type, open wound, abrasion, and chest/abdomen injury. Distance from injury location to THK or nearest health facility were not significantly associated with ambulance transport to the first health facility. CONCLUSION: Among lower acuity injury patients in southern Sri Lanka, 20.5% traveled in an ambulance to the first health facility, while over half used a tuk tuk. Older age and injuries at home were associated with lower odds of ambulance transport. Future studies on predictors of ambulance transport should include patients with more severe injuries, gather detailed data on care provided while in transport and examine the association between prehospital care and clinical outcomes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Reynolds, LM; De Silva, V; Clancy, S; Joiner, A; Staton, CA; Østbye, T

Published Date

  • 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 6

Start / End Page

  • e0253410 -

PubMed ID

  • 34170960

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8232418

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1932-6203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1371/journal.pone.0253410


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States