• Emerg Med Australas · Feb 2024

    Retrospective observational study of aged care facility residents presenting to ED post fall: A case for person-centred shared decision making.

    • Terry Nash, Nicola MacRae, Daniel Pitt, Casey Bennetts, Alyce Scanlan, and Robert Eley.
    • CAREPACT (Comprehensive Aged Resident Emergency Partners in Assessment Care and Treatment), Metro South Hospital and Health Service, Queensland Health, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
    • Emerg Med Australas. 2024 Feb 28.

    ObjectiveIdentify the incidence of intracranial haemorrhage in people from residential aged care facilities following falls who had a CT head performed. The secondary objectives were to identify predictor variables for intracranial haemorrhage to inform person-centred shared decision making.MethodsRetrospective chart review of aged care residents who presented to ED with a triage of fall. Documented evidence of vomiting, headache, external signs of head injury, deviation from baseline neurology and the presence of anticoagulation or antiplatelet agents was reviewed. The rates of CT head, intracranial haemorrhage, emergent interventions, disposition and mortality were assessed.ResultsOf the 2546 presentations, 1732 (68.0%) had a CT head and intracranial haemorrhage was found in 76 (4.4%) patients. External signs of head injury and deviation from neurological baseline have a strong association with intracranial haemorrhage in 26 (22.2%) patients, only 4 (0.61%) patients with intracranial haemorrhage had neither. There was a strong association between these clinical features and identification of intracranial haemorrhage on CT head. Anticoagulation and antiplatelet use had no association with intracranial haemorrhage. A 30-day mortality was increased in patients with deviation from neurological baseline. No neurosurgical intervention was performed, and there was inconsistent advice regarding anticoagulation or antiplatelet agents.ConclusionsDeviation from neurological baseline or external signs of head injury may be predictors of intracranial haemorrhage. Vomiting, headache, anticoagulation or antiplatelets were not associated with intracranial haemorrhage. A person-centred decision-making approach, that is informed by treatment options could better guide clinicians on when to order a CT head after a fall.© 2024 Australasian College for Emergency Medicine.

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