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Despite the increases in the aged population in Japan, there are little data on geriatric patients with traumatic injuries. A prospective clinical study was carried out to evaluate the use of the emergency medical services (emergency medical services) system, mechanisms of injury, and prehospital assessment and triage of elderly victims of trauma.
Patients and Methods:
From July 1996 through June 1997, a group of geriatric trauma (Group G, n = 22) and a control group of younger trauma patients (n = 173) were compared with respect to transfer method to an Emergency Center (direct or indirect), Revised Trauma Scores on the scene of the accident (revised trauma score-l) and on admission to the Emergency Center (revised trauma score-2), and outcome (survival).
The mean values for revised trauma score-l in the Control Group (Group C) were not different from those in Group G, but revised trauma score-2 of the indirect-transfer patients (indirectly transported patients) in Group G were significantly lower than were those for Group C. Group G mortality rates were significantly higher than were the control rates (p = 0.0001). The mortality rate of the indirectly transported patients subgroup was significantly lower than that of the direct transfer subgroup (directly transported patients) (30/68 vs. 5/70, p<0.0001) in the Group C, but mortality rate of the indirectly transported patients subgroup exceeded that of the directly transported patients subgroup of Group G (8/14 vs. 5/8).
The data suggest that in geriatric-age patients, direct transfer patients have a lower mortality rate than do indirect transfer patients when controlled for injury severity score. Therefore, it seems that a different set of triage criteria should be developed and implemented for geriatric-age victims with trauma-induced injuries and that those who meet these more stringent criteria should be transferred directly to a Trauma Center.