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1) To characterize mild, moderate, and severe fear of falling in older emergency department (ED) patients for minor injuries, and 2) to assess whether fear of falling could predict falls and returns to the ED within 6 months of the initial ED visit.
This study was part of the Canadian Emergency and Trauma Initiative (CETI) prospective cohort (2011–2016). Patients ages ≥ 65, who were independent in their basic daily activities and who were discharged from the ED after consulting for a minor injury, were included. Fear of falling was measured by the Short Falls Efficacy Scale International (SFES-I) in order to stratify fear of falling as mild (SFES-I = 7-8/28), moderate (SFES-I = 9-13/28), or severe (SFES-I = 14-28/28). Many other physical and psychological characteristics where collected. Research assistants conducted follow-up phone interviews at 3 and 6 months’ post-ED visit, in which patients were asked to report returns to the ED.
A total of 2,899 patients were enrolled and 2,009 had complete data at 6 months. Patients with moderate to severe fear of falling were more likely to be of ages ≥ 75, female, frailer with multiple comorbidities, and decreased mobility. Higher baseline fear of falling increased the risk of falling at 3 and 6 months (odds ratio [OR]-moderate-fear of falling: 1.63, p < 0.05, OR-severe-fear of falling 2.37, p < 0.05). Fear of falling positive predictive values for return to the ED or future falls were 7.7% to 17%.
Although a high fear of falling is associated with increased risk of falling within 6 months of a minor injury in older patients, fear of falling considered alone was not shown to be a strong predictor of return to the ED and future falls.
Patients suffering from an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) associated with an initial shockable rhythm have a better prognosis than their counterparts. The implications of recurrent or refractory malignant arrhythmia in such context remain unclear. The objective of this study is to evaluate the association between the number of prehospital shocks delivered and survival to hospital discharge among patients in OHCA.
This cohort study included adult patients with an initial shockable rhythm over a 5-year period from a registry of OHCA in Montreal, Canada. The relationship between the number of prehospital shocks delivered and survival to discharge was described using dynamic probabilities. The association between the number of prehospital shocks delivered and survival to discharge was assessed using multivariable logistic regression.
A total of 1,788 patients (78% male with a mean age of 64 years) were included in this analysis, of whom 536 (30%) received treatments from an advanced care paramedic. A third of the cohort (583 patients, 33%) survived to hospital discharge. The probability of survival was highest with the first shock (33% [95% confidence interval 30%-35%]), but decreased to 8% (95% confidence interval 4%-13%) following nine shocks. A higher number of prehospital shocks was independently associated with lower odds of survival (adjusted odds ratio=0.88 [95% confidence interval 0.85-0.92], p < 0.001).
Survival remains possible even after a high number of shocks for patients suffering from an OHCA with an initial shockable rhythm. However, requiring more shocks is independently associated with worse survival.
Patient sleep quality has a significant impact on recovery. However, most hospital units do not provide an optimal environment for sleep and there are currently no data available on how well patients sleep during their emergency department stay. The main objective of this study was to assess the subjective quality of nighttime sleep and factors that affect sleep in the emergency department (ED).
A prospective sample of patients aged 18 years and older who presented to the ED from July 2015 to October 2015 was investigated. All participants were on stretcher and slept at least one night in the ED. Participants were asked to complete a sleep questionnaire adapted to the ED environment on sleep quality and its potentially modifying factors.
A total of 235 patients participated in the study (mean age: 64±20 years, 51% women). Compared to the week at home prior to admission, subjective sleep quality was lower in the ED (p<0.001): almost half the participants took more than 30 minutes to fall asleep, and they reported waking up 3.5 times per night on average. Lower subjective sleep quality in the ED was associated with higher stress, noise, and pain, as well as with stretcher comfort and lower home sleep quality the week prior to admission.
Subjective sleep quality in the emergency department is not optimal, and is influenced by stress, noise, pain, and stretcher comfort, all potentially modifiable factors.
Delirium is very frequent in older patients presenting to the emergency department (ED), but is often undetected. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of the French version of the 4 A’s Test (4AT-F) for the detection of delirium and cognitive impairment in older patients.
The study was conducted in four Canadian ED. Participants (n= 320) were independent or semi-independent patients (able to perform ≥5 activities of daily living) aged 65 and older and had an 8-hour exposure to the ED environment. The Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (TICS-m), the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) as well as the 4AT-F were administered to patients at the initial interview. The CAM and 4AT-F were then administered twice a day during the patients’ ED or hospital stay. The 4AT-F’s sensitivity and specificity were compared to those of the CAM (for delirium), and to that of the TICS (for cognitive impairment).
Our results suggest that the 4AT-F has a sensitivity of 84% (95% CI: [76, 93]) and a specificity of 74% (95% CI: [70, 78]) for delirium, as well as a sensitivity of 49% (95% CI: [34, 64]) and a specificity of 87% (95% CI: [82, 92]) for cognitive impairment.
The 4AT-F is a fast and reliable screening tool for delirium and cognitive impairment in ED. Due to its quick administration time, it allows a systematic screening of patients at risk of delirium, without significantly increasing the workload of the ED staff.
In the fast pace of the Emergency Department (ED), clinicians are in need of tailored screening tools to detect seniors who are at risk of adverse outcomes. We aimed to explore the usefulness of the Bergman-Paris Question (BPQ) to expose potential undetected geriatric syndromes in community-living seniors presenting to the ED.
This is a planned sub-study of the INDEED multicentre prospective cohort study, including independent or semi-independent seniors (≥65 years old) admitted to hospital after an ED stay ≥8 hours and who were not delirious. Patients were assessed using validated screening tests for 3 geriatric syndromes: cognitive and functional impairment, and frailty. The BPQ was asked upon availability of a relative at enrolment. BPQ’s sensitivity and specificity analyses were used to ascertain outcomes.
A response to the BPQ was available for 171 patients (47% of the main study’s cohort). Of this number, 75.4% were positive (suggesting impairment), and 24.6% were negative. To detect one of the three geriatric syndromes, the BPQ had a sensitivity of 85.4% (95% CI [76.3, 92.0]) and a specificity of 35.4% (95% CI [25.1, 46.7]). Similar results were obtained for each separate outcome. Odds ratio demonstrated a higher risk of presence of geriatric syndromes.
The Bergman-Paris Question could be an ED screening tool for possible geriatric syndrome. A positive BPQ should prompt the need of further investigations and a negative BPQ possibly warrants no further action. More research is needed to validate the usefulness of the BPQ for day-to-day geriatric screening by ED professionals or geriatricians.
The management of acute pain constitutes an essential skill of emergency department (ED) physicians. However, the accurate assessment of pain intensity and relief represents a clinically challenging undertaking. Some studies have proposed to define effective pain relief as the patient’s refusal for additional analgesic administration. The aim of this study was to verify whether such a refusal is effectively indicative of pain relief.
This prospective cohort study included ED patients who received single or multiple doses of pain medication for an acute pain problem. Patients were evaluated for pain relief using one Likert scale and two dichotomous questions: Is your pain relieved? and Do you want more analgesics? Non-relieved patients were further analysed using a checklist as to the reasons behind their refusal for supplemental pain medication.
We have recruited 378 adult patients with a mean age of 50.3 years (±19.1); 60% were women and had an initial mean pain level of 7.3 (±2.0) out of 10. We observed that 68 out of 244 patients who were adequately relieved from pain asked for more analgesics (28%), whereas 51 out of 134 patients who were not relieved from pain refused supplemental drugs (38%). Reasons for refusal included wanting to avoid side effects, feeling sufficiently relieved, and disliking the medication’s effects.
Over a third of ED patients in acute pain were not relieved but refused supplemental pain medication. Patients have reported legitimate reasons to decline further analgesics, and this refusal cannot be used as an indication of pain relief.
The consequences of minor trauma involving a head injury (MT-HI) in independent older adults are largely unknown. This study assessed the impact of a head injury on the functional outcomes six months post-injury in older adults who sustained a minor trauma.
This multicenter prospective cohort study in eight sites included patients who were aged 65 years or older, previously independent, presenting to the emergency department (ED) for a minor trauma, and discharged within 48 hours. To assess the functional decline, we used a validated test: the Older Americans’ Resources and Services Scale. The cognitive function of study patients was also evaluated. Finally, we explored the influence of a concomitant injury on the functional decline in the MT-HI group.
All 926 eligible patients were included in the analyses: 344 MT-HI patients and 582 minor trauma without head injury. After six months, the functional decline was similar in both groups: 10.8% and 11.9%, respectively (RR=0.79 [95% CI: 0.55–1.14]). The proportion of patients with mild cognitive disabilities was also similar: 21.7% and 22.8%, respectively (RR=0.91 [95% CI: 0.71–1.18]). Furthermore, for the group of patients with a MT-HI, the functional outcome was not statistically different with or without the presence of a co-injury (RR=1.35 [95% CI: 0.71–2.59]).
This study did not demonstrate that the occurrence of a MT-HI is associated with a worse functional or cognitive prognosis than other minor injuries without a head injury in an elderly population, six months after injury.
The objective of this study was to explore correlates of cognitive functioning of older adults visiting the emergency department (ED) after a minor injury.
These results are derived from a large prospective study in three Canadian EDs. Participants were aged ≥ 65 years and independent in basic activities of daily living, visiting the ED for minor injuries and discharged home within 48 hours (those with known dementia, confusion, and delirium were excluded). They completed the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Potential correlates included sociodemographic and injury variables, and measures of psychological and physical health, social support, mobility, falls, and functional status.
Multivariate analyses revealed that male sex, age ≥ 85 years, higher depression scores, slower walking speed, and self-reported memory problems were significantly associated with lower baseline MoCA scores.
These characteristics could help ED professionals identify patients who might need additional cognitive evaluations or follow-ups after their passage through the ED. Obtaining information on these characteristics is potentially feasible in the ED context and could help professionals alter favorably elderly's trajectory of care. Since a significant proportion of elderly patients consulting at an ED have cognitive impairment, the ED is an opportunity to prevent functional and cognitive decline.
This study aimed to ascertain the association between self-reported pain intensity and vital signs in both emergency department (ED) patients and a subgroup of patients with diagnosed conditions known to produce significant pain.
We performed a retrospective analysis of real-time, archived data from an electronic medical record system at an urban teaching hospital and regional community hospital. We included consecutive ED patients ≥16 years old who had a self-reported pain intensity ≥1 as measured during triage, from March 2005 to December 2012. The primary outcome was vital signs for self-reported pain intensity levels (mild, moderate, severe) on an 11-point verbal numerical scale. Changes in pain intensity levels were also compared to variations in vital signs. Both analyses were repeated on a subgroup of patients with diagnosed conditions recognized to produce significant pain: fracture, dislocation, or renal colic.
We included 153,567 patients (mean age of 48.4±19.3 years; 55.5% women) triaged with pain (median intensity of 7/10±3). Of these, 8.9% of patients had diagnosed conditions recognized to produce significant pain. From the total sample, the difference between mild and severe pain categories was 2.7 beats/minutes (95% CI: 2.4−3.0) for heart rate and 0.13 mm Hg (95% CI: -0.26−0.52) for systolic blood pressure. These differences generated small effect sizes and were not clinically significant. Results were similar for patients who experienced changes in pain categories and for those conditions recognized to produce significant pain.
Health care professionals cannot use vital signs to estimate or substantiate self-reported pain intensity levels or changes over time.
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