Browsing by Subject "Triage"

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  • Hoikka, Marko; Silfvast, Tom; Ala-Kokko, Tero I. (2018)
    Objectives: The prehospital research field has focused on studying patient survival in cardiac arrest, as well as acute coronary syndrome, stroke, and trauma. There is little known about the overall short-term mortality and its predictability in unselected prehospital patients. This study examines whether a prehospital National Early Warning Score (NEWS) predicts 1-day and 30-day mortalities. Methods: Data from all emergency medical service (EMS) situations were coupled to the mortality data obtained from the Causes of Death Registry during a six-month period in Northern Finland. NEWS values were calculated from first clinical parameters obtained on the scene and patients were categorized to the low, medium and high-risk groups accordingly. Sensitivities, specificities, positive predictive values (PPVs), negative predictive values (NPVs), and likelihood ratios (PLRs and NLRs) were calculated for 1-day and 30-day mortalities at the cut-off risks. Results: A total of 12,426 EMS calls were included in the study. The overall 1-day and 30-day mortalities were 1.5 and 4.3%, respectively. The 1-day mortality rate for NEWS values = 13 higher than 20%. The high-risk NEWS group had sensitivities for 1-day and 30-day mortalities 0.801 (CI 0.74-0.86) and 0.42 (CI 0.38-0.47), respectively. Conclusion: In prehospital environment, the high risk NEWS category was associated with 1-day mortality well above that of the medium and low risk NEWS categories. This effect was not as noticeable for 30-day mortality. The prehospital NEWS may be useful tool for recognising patients at early risk of death, allowing earlier interventions and responds to these patients.
  • Kemp, Kirsi; Alakare, Janne; Kätkä, Minna; Lääperi, Mitja; Lehtonen, Lasse; Castren, Maaret (2022)
    Background Most emergency departments rely on acuity assessment, triage, to recognize critically ill patients that need urgent treatment, and to allocate resources according to need. The accuracy of commonly used triage instruments such as the Emergency Severity Index (ESI) is lower for older adults compared to young patients. We aim to examine, whether adjusting the triage category by age leads to improvement in sensitivity without excessive increase in patient numbers in the higher triage categories. The primary outcome measure was 3-day mortality and secondary outcomes were 30-day mortality, hospital admission, and HDU/ICU admissions. Methods We gathered data of all adult patients who had an unscheduled visit to any of our three emergency departments within one month. The data was analysed for 3-day mortality, 30-day mortality, hospital admission, and high dependency unit or intensive care unit (HDU/ICU) admission. The analysis was run for both the standard ESI triage method and a local 3-level Helsinki University Hospital (HUH) method. A further analysis was run for both triage methods with age adjustment. Net reclassification improvement values were calculated to demonstrate the effect of age adjustment. Results Thirteen thousand seven hundred fifty-nine patients met the study criteria, median age was 57. 3-day mortality AUCs for unadjusted HUH and ESI triage were 0.77 (0.65-0.88) and 0.72 (0.57-0.87); 30-day mortality AUCs were 0.64 (0.59-0.69) and 0.69 (0.64-0.73); hospital admission AUCs were 0.60 (0.68-0.71) and 0.66 (0.65-0.68) and HDU/ICU admission AUCs were 0.67 (0.64-0.70) and 0.82 (0.79-0.86), respectively. Age adjustment improved accuracy for 30-day mortality and hospital admission. With the threshold age of 80, AUCs for 30-day mortality were 0.73 (0.68-0.77) and 0.77 (0.73-0.81) and for hospital admission, 0.66 (0.65-0.67) and 0.72 (0.71-0.73) for the HUH and ESI triage. The effect was similar with all cut off ages. Conclusion Moving older adults into a more urgent triage category based on age, improved the triage instruments' performance slightly in predicting 30-day mortality and hospital admission without excessive increase in patient numbers in the higher triage categories. Age adjustment did not improve HDU/ICU admission or 3-day mortality prediction.
  • Raj, Rahul; Siironen, Jari; Kivisaari, Riku; Kuisma, Markku; Brinck, Tuomas; Lappalainen, Jaakko; Skrifvars, Markus B. (2013)
  • Pasquier, Mathieu; Hugli, Olivier; Paal, Peter; Darocha, Tomasz; Blancher, Marc; Husby, Paul; Silfvast, Tom; Carron, Pierre-Nicolas; Rousson, Valentin (2018)
    Aims: Currently, the decision to initiate extracorporeal life support for patients who suffer cardiac arrest due to accidental hypothermia is essentially based on serum potassium level. Our goal was to build a prediction score in order to determine the probability of survival following rewarming of hypothermic arrested patients based on several covariates available at admission. Methods: We included consecutive hypothermic arrested patients who underwent rewarming with extracorporeal life support. The sample comprised 237 patients identified through the literature from 18 studies, and 49 additional patients obtained from hospital data collection. We considered nine potential predictors of survival: age; sex; core temperature; serum potassium level; mechanism of hypothermia; cardiac rhythm at admission; witnessed cardiac arrest, rewarming method and cardiopulmonary resuscitation duration prior to the initiation of extracorporeal life support. The primary outcome parameter was survival to hospital discharge. Results: Overall, 106 of the 286 included patients survived (37%; 95% CI: 32-43%), most (84%) with a good neurological outcome. The final score included the following variables: age, sex, core temperature at admission, serum potassium level, mechanism of cooling, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation duration. The corresponding area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.895 (95% CI: 0.859-0.931) compared to 0.774 (95% CI: 0.720-0.828) when based on serum potassium level alone. Conclusions: In this large retrospective study we found that our score was superior to dichotomous triage based on serum potassium level in assessing which hypothermic patients in cardiac arrest would benefit from extracorporeal life support. External validation of our findings is required.
  • Kaila, Minna; Haapiainen, Reijo; Keistinen, Timo; Salomaa, Eva (2019)
    Erikoissairaanhoidon keskittämisen kipukohtien taustalla on ¬henkilöstön saatavuuteen, koulutukseen ja päivystysvalmiuteen sekä aluepolitiikkaan liittyviä argumentteja, todetaan erikois¬sairaanhoidon keskittämisen ja päivystyksen tilaa käsittelevässä tuoreessa raportissa
  • Hoikka, Marko; Länkimäki, Sami; Silfvast, Tom; Ala-Kokko, Tero I. (2016)
    Background: In Finland, calls for emergency medical services are prioritized by educated non-medical personnel into four categories-from A (highest risk) to D (lowest risk)-following a criteria-based national dispatch protocol. Discrepancies in triage may result in risk overestimation, leading to inappropriate use of emergency medical services units and to risk underestimation that can negatively impact patient outcome. To evaluate dispatch protocol accuracy, we assessed association between priority assigned at dispatch and the patient's condition assessed by emergency medical services on the scene using an early warning risk assessment tool. Methods: Using medical charts, clinical variables were prospectively recorded and evaluated for all emergency medical services missions in two hospital districts in Northern Finland during 1.1.2014-30.6.2014. Risk assessment was then re-categorized as low, medium, or high by calculating the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) based on the patients' clinical variables measured at the scene. Results: A total of 12,729 emergency medical services missions were evaluated, of which 616 (4.8%) were prioritized as A, 3193 (25.1%) as B, 5637 (44.3%) as C, and 3283 (25.8%) as D. Overall, 67.5% of the dispatch missions were correctly estimated according to NEWS. Of the highest dispatch priority missions A and B, 76.9 and 78.3%, respectively, were overestimated. Of the low urgency missions (C and D), 10.7% were underestimated; 32.0% of the patients who were assigned NEWS indicating high risk had initially been classified as low urgency C or D priorities at the dispatch. Discussion and conclusion: The present results show that the current Finnish medical dispatch protocol is suboptimal and needs to be further developed. A substantial proportion of EMS missions assessed as highest priority were categorized as lower risk according to the NEWS determined at the scene, indicating over-triage with the protocol. On the other hand, only a quarter of the high risk NEWS patients were classified as the highest priority at dispatch, indicating considerable under-triage with the protocol.
  • Kemp, Kirsi; Alakare, Janne; Harjola, Veli-Pekka; Strandberg, Timo; Tolonen, Jukka; Lehtonen, Lasse; Castrén, Maaret (2020)
    Background The aim of the emergency department (ED) triage is to recognize critically ill patients and to allocate resources. No strong evidence for accuracy of the current triage instruments, especially for the older adults, exists. We evaluated the National Early Warning Score 2 (NEWS2) and a 3-level triage assessment as risk predictors for frail older adults visiting the ED. Methods This prospective, observational study was performed in a Finnish ED. The data were collected in a six-month period and included were >= 75-year-old residents with Clinical Frailty Scale score of at least four. We analyzed the predictive values of NEWS2 and the three-level triage scale for 30-day mortality, hospital admission, high dependency unit (HDU) and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, a count of 72-h and 30-day revisits, and ED length-of-stay (LOS). Results A total of 1711 ED visits were included. Median for age, CFS, LOS and NEWS2 were 85 years, 6 points, 6.2 h and 1 point, respectively. 30-day mortality was 96/1711. At triage, 69, 356 and 1278 of patients were assessed as red, yellow and green, respectively. There were 1103 admissions, of them 31 to an HDU facility, none to ICU. With NEWS2 and triage score, AUCs for 30-day mortality prediction were 0.70 (0.64-0.76) and 0.62 (0.56-0.68); for hospital admission prediction 0.62 (0.60-0.65) and 0.55 (0.52-0.56), and for HDU admission 0.72 (0.61-0.83) and 0.80 (0.70-0.90), respectively. The NEWS2 divided into risk groups of low, medium and high did not predict the ED LOS (p = 0.095). There was a difference in ED LOS between the red/yellow and as red/green patient groups (p <0.001) but not between the yellow/green groups (p = 0.59). There were 48 and 351 revisits within 72 h and 30 days, respectively. With NEWS2 AUCs for 72-h and 30-day revisit prediction were 0.48 (95% CI 0.40-0.56) and 0.47 (0.44-0.51), respectively; with triage score 0.48 (0.40-0.56) and 0.49 (0.46-0.52), respectively. Conclusions The NEWS2 and a local 3-level triage scale are statistically significant, but poor in accuracy, in predicting 30-day mortality, and HDU admission but not ED LOS or revisit rates for frail older adults. NEWS2 also seems to predict hospital admission.
  • Kemp, Kirsi; Alakare, Janne; Harjola, Veli-Pekka; Strandberg, Timo; Tolonen, Jukka; Lehtonen, Lasse; Castrén, Maaret (BioMed Central, 2020)
    Abstract Background The aim of the emergency department (ED) triage is to recognize critically ill patients and to allocate resources. No strong evidence for accuracy of the current triage instruments, especially for the older adults, exists. We evaluated the National Early Warning Score 2 (NEWS2) and a 3-level triage assessment as risk predictors for frail older adults visiting the ED. Methods This prospective, observational study was performed in a Finnish ED. The data were collected in a six-month period and included were ≥ 75-year-old residents with Clinical Frailty Scale score of at least four. We analyzed the predictive values of NEWS2 and the three-level triage scale for 30-day mortality, hospital admission, high dependency unit (HDU) and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, a count of 72-h and 30-day revisits, and ED length-of-stay (LOS). Results A total of 1711 ED visits were included. Median for age, CFS, LOS and NEWS2 were 85 years, 6 points, 6.2 h and 1 point, respectively. 30-day mortality was 96/1711. At triage, 69, 356 and 1278 of patients were assessed as red, yellow and green, respectively. There were 1103 admissions, of them 31 to an HDU facility, none to ICU. With NEWS2 and triage score, AUCs for 30-day mortality prediction were 0.70 (0.64–0.76) and 0.62 (0.56–0.68); for hospital admission prediction 0.62 (0.60–0.65) and 0.55 (0.52–0.56), and for HDU admission 0.72 (0.61–0.83) and 0.80 (0.70–0.90), respectively. The NEWS2 divided into risk groups of low, medium and high did not predict the ED LOS (p = 0.095). There was a difference in ED LOS between the red/yellow and as red/green patient groups (p < 0.001) but not between the yellow/green groups (p = 0.59). There were 48 and 351 revisits within 72 h and 30 days, respectively. With NEWS2 AUCs for 72-h and 30-day revisit prediction were 0.48 (95% CI 0.40–0.56) and 0.47 (0.44–0.51), respectively; with triage score 0.48 (0.40–0.56) and 0.49 (0.46–0.52), respectively. Conclusions The NEWS2 and a local 3-level triage scale are statistically significant, but poor in accuracy, in predicting 30-day mortality, and HDU admission but not ED LOS or revisit rates for frail older adults. NEWS2 also seems to predict hospital admission.
  • Mentula, Panu; Brinck, Tuomas (2019)
  • Liu, Ville; Sellgren, Lasse; Koskela, Tuomas; Kaila, Minna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Background Municipalities are reforming their health and social care services and creating online services to support patient self-treatment and self-care (The Omaolo-project). These include 15 symptom checkers which provide triage. As a result of the completed individual symptom assessment, the patient receives an assessment of the need for treatment of the corresponding symptom, instructions for a treatment site and, if necessary, self-care instructions. This study examines the usability of symptom checkers from the perspective of the patient and the study assistant. Methodology This is a mixed methods study that used data collected in the Omaolo project’s validation of symptom checkers study. Data were collected from 18 primary health care emergency centers throughout Finland. The user answered the questions posed by the symptom checker, after which a nurse familiar with triage assessed the need for treatment of the symptom of the user. The study assistant monitored the completion of the study user's symptom checker. The findings of 350 patient users, nurses, and study assistants were analyzed based on separate completed research forms. Thematic analysis was used to create research themes from the recorded observations of the individuals followed by the preparation of a thematic summary. Results The usability of symptom checkers was mainly assessed as good. However, there were challenges in usability. Relevant concepts (codes) describing the challenges were formed from the free text observations of the research forms. 59 codes were classified under two main themes; user-related challenges and issues related to the symptom checkers. The user-related challenges were divided into a) difficulties in understanding the symptom checkers and their questions, b) poor competence to use online tools, and c) ability to assess one’s health. The issues related to the symptom checkers were divided into a) a need to clarify the terms and questions used in the symptom checker, and b) a need to improve the visual layout and provide better instructions for the user. Conclusions Symptom checkers are acceptable, easy to use, and understandable to most patients. The study identified themes that may impair the availability of symptom checkers. Improving the availability of symptom checkers is likely to improve the process of triage as well as its success. In addition, usability issues can impair a patient's willingness to use symptom checkers.
  • Liu, Ville D.; Sellgren, Lasse; Kaila, Minna; Koskela, Tuomas (2021)
  • Ljunggren, Malin; Castren, Maaret; Nordberg, Martin; Kurland, Lisa (2016)
    Background: Vital signs are widely used in emergency departments. Previous studies on the association between vital signs and mortality in emergency departments have been restricted to selected patient populations. We aimed to study the association of vital signs and age with 1-day mortality in patients visiting the emergency department. Methods: This retrospective cohort included patients visiting the emergency department for adults at Sodersjukhuset, Sweden from 4/1/2012 to 4/30/2013. Exclusion criteria were: age <18 years, deceased upon arrival, chief complaint circulatory or respiratory arrest, key data missing and patients who were directed to a certain fast track for conditions demanding little resources. Vital sign data was collected through the Rapid Emergency Triage and Treatment System-Adult (RETTS-A). Descriptive analyses and logistic regression models were used. The main outcome measure was 1-day mortality. Results: The 1-day mortality rate was 0.3 %. 96,512 patients met the study criteria. After adjustments of differences in the other vital signs, comorbidities, gender and age the following vital signs were independently associated with 1-day mortality: oxygen saturation, systolic blood pressure, temperature, level of consciousness, respiratory rate, pulse rate and age. The highest odds ratios was observed when comparing unresponsive to alert patients (OR 31.0, CI 16.9 to 56.8), patients >= 80 years to <50 years (OR 35.9, CI 10.7 to 120.2) and patients with respiratory rates <8/min to 8-25/min (OR 18.1, CI 2.1 to 155.5). Discussion: Most of the vital signs used in the ED are significantly associated with one-day mortality. The more the vital signs deviate from the normal range, the larger are the odds of mortality. We did not find a suitable way to adjust for the inherent influence the triage system and medical treatment has had on mortality. Conclusions: Most deviations of vital signs are associated with 1-day mortality. The same triage level is not associated with the same odds for death with respect to the individual vital sign. Patients that were unresponsive or had low respiratory rates or old age had the highest odds of 1-day mortality.
  • Ångerman, Susanne (2017)