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In January of 2010, North Carolina (NC) USA implemented state-wide Trauma Triage Destination Plans (TTDPs) to provide standardized guidelines for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) decision making. No study exists to evaluate whether triage behavior has changed for geriatric trauma patients.
The impact of the NC TTDPs was investigated on EMS triage of geriatric trauma patients meeting physiologic criteria of serious injury, primarily based on whether these patients were transported to a trauma center.
This is a retrospective cohort study of geriatric trauma patients transported by EMS from March 1, 2009 through September 30, 2009 (pre-TTDP) and March 1, 2010 through September 30, 2010 (post-TTDP) meeting the following inclusion criteria: (1) age 50 years or older; (2) transported to a hospital by NC EMS; (3) experienced an injury; and (4) meeting one or more of the NC TTDP’s physiologic criteria for trauma (n = 5,345). Data were obtained from the Prehospital Medical Information System (PreMIS). Data collected included proportions of patients transported to a trauma center categorized by specific physiologic criteria, age category, and distance from a trauma center.
The proportion of patients transported to a trauma center pre-TTDP (24.4% [95% CI 22.7%-26.1%]; n = 604) was similar to the proportion post-TTDP (24.4% [95% CI 22.9%-26.0%]; n = 700). For patients meeting specific physiologic triage criteria, the proportions of patients transported to a trauma center were also similar pre- and post-TTDP: systolic blood pressure <90 mmHg (22.5% versus 23.5%); respiratory rate <10 or >29 (23.2% versus 22.6%); and Glascow Coma Scale (GCS) score <13 (26.0% versus 26.4%). Patients aged 80 years or older were less likely to be transported to a trauma center than younger patients in both the pre- and post-TTDP periods.
State-wide implementation of a TTDP had no discernible effect on the proportion of patients 50 years and older transported to a trauma center. Under-triage remained common and became increasingly prevalent among the oldest adults. Research to understand the uptake of guidelines and protocols into EMS practice is critical to improving care for older adults in the prehospital environment.
To evaluate the association between hospital room square footage and acquisition of nosocomial Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).
A case-control study was conducted at a university hospital during the calendar year of 2011. Case patients were adult inpatients with nosocomial CDI. Control patients were hospitalized patients without CDI and were randomly selected and matched to cases in a 2:1 ratio on the basis of hospital length of stay in 3-day strata. A multivariate model was developed using conditional logistic regression to evaluate risk factors for nosocomial CDI.
A total of 75 case patients and 150 control patients were included. On multivariate analyses, greater square footage of the hospital room was associated with a significantly increased risk of acquiring CDI (odds ratio for every 50 ft2 increase, 3.00; 95% CI, 1.75–5.16; P<.001). Other factors associated with an increased risk of CDI were location in a single room (odds ratio, 3.43; 95% CI, 1.31–9.05; P=.01), malignant tumor (4.56; 1.82–11.4; P=.001), and receipt of cefepime (2.48; 1.06–5.82; P=.04) or immunosuppressants (6.90; 2.07–23.0; P=.002) within the previous 30 days.
Greater room square footage increased the risk of acquisition of CDI in the hospital setting, likely owing to increased environmental contamination and/or difficulty in effective disinfection. Future studies are needed to determine feasible and effective cleaning protocols based on patient and room characteristics.
Patients seeking care in public hospitals are often resource-limited populations who have in past disasters become the most vulnerable. The objective of this study was to determine the personal disaster preparedness of emergency department (ED) patients and to identify predictors of low levels of preparedness. It was hypothesized that vulnerable populations would be better prepared for disasters.
A prospective cross-sectional survey was conducted over a one-year period of patients seeking care in a public university hospital ED (census 65,000). Exclusion criteria were mentally impaired, institutionalized, or non-English speaking subjects. Subjects completed an anonymous survey detailing the 15 personal preparedness items from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster preparedness checklist as well as demographic characteristics. Summary statistics were used to describe general preparedness. Chi-square tests were used to compare preparedness by demographics.
During the study period, 857/1000 subjects completed the survey. Participants were predominantly male (57%), Caucasian (65%), middle-aged (mean 45 years), and high school graduates (83%). Seventeen percent (n = 146) reported having special needs and 8% were single parents. Most participants were not prepared: 451 (53%) had >75% of checklist items, 393 (46%) had food and water for 3 days, and 318 (37%) had food, water, and >75% of items. Level of preparedness was associated with age and parenting. Those aged 44 and older were more likely to be prepared for a disaster compared to younger respondents. (43.3% vs 31.1%, P = .0002). Similarly, single parents were more likely to be prepared than dual parenting households (47.1 vs 32.9%, P = .03).
This study and others have found that only the minority of any group is actually prepared for disaster. Future research should focus on ways to implement disaster preparedness education, specifically targeting vulnerable populations, then measuring the effects of educational programs to demonstrate that preparedness has increased as a result.
TrueNA, AdedoyinJD, ShoferFS, HastyEK, BriceJH. Level of Disaster Preparedness in Patients Visiting the Emergency Department: Results of the Civilian Assessment of Readiness for Disaster (CARD) Survey. Prehosp Disaster Med.2013;28(2):1-5.
Shift work has been found to be associated with an increased rate of errors and accidents among healthcare workers (HCWs), but the effect of shift work on accidental blood and body fluid exposure sustained by HCWs has not been well characterized.
To determine the duration of time on shift before accidental blood and body fluid exposure in housestaff, nurses, and technicians and the proportion of housestaff who sustain a blood and body fluid exposure after 12 hours on duty.
This retrospective, descriptive study was conducted during a 24-month period at a large urban teaching hospital. Participants were HCWs who sustained an accidental blood and body fluid exposure.
Housestaff were on duty significantly longer than both nursing staff (P = .02) and technicians (P < .0001) before accidental blood and body fluid exposure. Half of the blood and body fluid exposures sustained by housestaff occurred after being on duty 8 hours or more, and 24% were sustained after being on duty 12 hours or more. Of all HCWs, 3% reported an accidental blood and body fluid exposure, with specific rates of 7.9% among nurses, 9.4% among housestaff, and 3% among phlebotomists.
Housestaff were significantly more likely to have longer duration of time on shift before blood and body fluid exposure than were the other groups. Almost one-quarter of accidental blood and body fluid exposures to housestaff were incurred after they had been on duty for 12 hours or more. Housestaff sustained a higher rate of accidental blood and body fluid exposures than did nursing staff and technicians.
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