Analysis of traumatic event emergency department visits among care home residents aged 65 + years in Southern Jutland, Denmark: implications for comprehensive care and subsequent hospital admissions - a register-based cohort study

Zuhreh Sarwari, Gitte Schultz Kristensen*, Sofie Ronja Petersen, Christian Backer Mogensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Care home residents aged 65 + years frequently experience acute health issues, leading to emergency department visits. Falls and associated injuries are a common cause of these visits and falls in a geriatric population can be a symptom of an incipient acute illness such as infection. Conversely, the traumatic event can cause illnesses to arise due to consequences of the fall, e.g. delirium or constipation due to opioid use. We hypothesised that a traumatic event treat-and-release emergency department visit serves as an indicator for an upcoming acute hospital admission due to non-trauma-related conditions.

METHODS: We studied emergency department visits for traumatic events among all care home residents aged 65+ (n = 2601) living in Southern Jutland, Denmark, from 2018 to 2019. Data from highly valid national registers were used to evaluate diagnoses, mortality, and admissions. Cox Regression was used to analyse the hazard of acute hospital admission following an emergency department treat-and-release visit.

RESULTS: Most visits occurred on weekdays and during day shifts, and 72.0% were treated and released within 6 h. Contusions, open wounds, and femur fractures were the most common discharge diagnoses, accounting for 53.3% of all cases (n = 703). In-hospital mortality was 2.3%, and 30-day mortality was 10.4%. Among treat-and-release visits (n = 506), 25% resulted in a new hospital referral within 30 days, hereof 13% treat-and-release revisits (duration ≤ 6 h), and 12% hospital admissions (duration > 6 h). Over half (56%) of new hospital referrals were initiated within the first seven days of discharge. Almost three-fourths of subsequent admissions were caused by various diseases. The hazard ratio of acute hospital admissions was 2.20 (95% CI: 1.52-3.17) among residents with a recent traumatic event treat-and-release visit compared to residents with no recent traumatic event treat-and-release visit.

CONCLUSION: Traumatic event treat-and-release visits among care home residents serve as an indicator for subsequent hospitalisations, highlighting the need for a more comprehensive evaluation, even for minor injuries. These findings have implications for improving care, continuity, and resource utilisation.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Not relevant.

Original languageEnglish
Article number465
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Volume24
Issue number1
Number of pages9
ISSN1471-2318
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28. May 2024

Bibliographical note

© 2024. The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Humans
  • Denmark/epidemiology
  • Male
  • Female
  • Aged
  • Emergency Service, Hospital/trends
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Hospitalization/trends
  • Registries
  • Wounds and Injuries/epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Accidental Falls
  • Nursing Homes/trends
  • Homes for the Aged/trends
  • Emergency Room Visits
  • Injury
  • Emergency department
  • Register-based
  • Traumatic events
  • Casualty
  • Nursing home
  • Care home
  • Treat and release
  • Acute admission
  • Older adults

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