Predictors of Non-Transport for Older Adult EMS Patients Encountered for Falls.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Emergency medical services (EMS) encounters for falls among older adults have been linked to poor outcomes when the patient is not transported by EMS to a hospital. However, little is known regarding characteristics of this patient population. Our primary objective was to describe characteristics associated with non-transport among older adult EMS patients encountered for falls. METHODS: We performed a national retrospective cross-sectional study of 9-1-1 patient contacts from the 2019 ESO Data Collaborative. We included patients who had 9-1-1 encounters for ground-level falls and were aged 60 years or older. Patients residing in congregate living facilities, interfacility transports, cardiac arrests, and suspected drowning patients were excluded. Potential predictors of non-transport included patient demographics, initial vital signs, who requested 9-1-1 service, incident location, alcohol/substance use, and urbanicity. We used multivariable logistic regression to determine associations between non-transport and potential predictors. RESULTS: We identified 195,204 EMS encounters for older adults who fell in 2019, including 27,563 (14.1%) non-transports. Most patients were female (62.4%), non-Hispanic White (85.4%), and fell at a home or residence (80.4%). Greater odds of non-transport were identified among males (OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.32-1.42) and Hispanic/Latino patients (OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.14-1.35). Older age was associated with greater odds of non-transport compared to patients aged 60-69 years (70-79 [OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.35-1.49], 80-89 [OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.42-1.59], ≥90 [OR 1.45, 95% CI 1.35-1.55]). Patients residing in Census tracts with larger percentages of the population living in poverty had lower odds of non-transport compared to those in areas with ≤5% in poverty (6-15% poverty [OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.78-0.84), 15-25% poverty [OR 0.78, 95% CI 0.73-0.82], and >25% poverty [OR 0.78, 95% CI 0.72-0.84]). CONCLUSION: Males, older age groups, and Hispanic/Latino patients had higher odds of non-transport among this population of community-dwelling adults age 60 or greater. These findings may inform development of future targeted falls-related mobile integrated health or community paramedic services and referrals to community intervention programs. Future work is needed to understand underlying patient and clinician perspectives driving non-transport decisions among these patients to better equip EMS clinicians with tools and information on tailored risk/benefit discussions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Joiner, A; Fernandez, AR; Van Vleet, L; Cabañas, JG; Grover, J; Godfrey, A; Crowe, R; Staton, C; Pavon, J

Published Date

  • October 28, 2022

Published In

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 7

PubMed ID

  • 36251394

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1545-0066

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/10903127.2022.2137744


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England