Predicting conveyance to the emergency department for older adults who fall

Background: Falls are frequent in older adults and are associated with high mortality, morbidity and immobility. Many patients can be managed in the community, but some will require conveyance to the emergency department (ED). Aims: This study aims to identify predictive characteristics of conveyance to the ED after a fall. Methods: A cross-sectional study between December 2018 and September 2020 involved patients attended by a falls rapid response service. Eligible patients were aged ≥60 years with mental capacity, had experienced a fall and were living within the relevant geographical area. Findings: 426 patients were enrolled, with a mean age of 82.61 years (SD 8.4; range 60–99 years) and 60.7% were women. Predictive characteristics of conveyance were an injurious fall or pain (OR 8.25; 95% CI (4.89–14.50); <em>P</em>≤0.01) and having been lying for a long time (OR 1.6; 95% CI (1.00–2.56); <em>P</em>=0.04). Conclusion: It is possible to identify predictors of conveyance to the ED; therefore, an undifferentiated approach towards dispatching the falls rapid response service to all older adults who fall is unwarranted.

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