• Investigating the understanding, use and experiences of older people in Lincolnshire accessing emergency and urgent services via 999 and NHS 111: a scoping study

      Togher, Fiona Jayne; Windle, Karen; Essam, Nadya; Hardwick, Jialin; Phung, Viet-Hai; Vowles, Valerie (2015-05)
      Introduction During 2011/12, East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) received 776,000 emergency 999 calls of which 36% (277,000) did not require transportation to hospital. Inappropriate calls can be due to public misunderstanding of when it is appropriate to ring 999. NHS 111 is an alternative free telephone service that enables the public to access health care advice or resources when the matter is urgent but not a 999 emergency. However knowing which service to telephone is not always easy and such a decision can be particularly dif ficult for older people as symptom presentation across complex co-morbidities can be atypical. A mixed method scoping project was carried out to explore the understanding, use and experiences of emergency (999) and urgent services (NHS 111) by older people aged 65 and over. Here, we report findings from the qualitative workstream. Methods Semi-structured interviews and focus groups (n=25) using a topic guide were carried out with a purposive sample of older people who had used the 999 ambulance service and/or the NHS 111 service in the East Midlands. Results We found a lack of awareness as to the remit of NHS 111 and confusion as to when this number should be phoned. Older people ’s expectations of 111 seemed to be analogous to other primary care services. As a consequence, participants were often dissatisfied with the service response; it neither provided useful advice nor reassurance. Greater satisfaction was reported with the call handling process and hospital transportation through EMAS (999) and older people ’s reported rationale for phoning 999 would seem to suggest appropriate service use. Conclusion Developing a greater understanding of how older people decide to contact a service would support future policy and practice implementation. If the remit of a service is unclear and accompanying publicity confusing, older people will continue to dial 999. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/32/5/e2.2.full.pdf This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2015-204880.5
    • Unexpected shock in a fallen older adult: a case report

      Matthews, Gary; Booth, Helen; Whitley, Gregory (2020-06-01)
      Abstract published with permission. Introduction: Falls are common in older adults and frequently require ambulance service assistance. They are the most frequent cause of injury and associated morbidity and mortality in older adults. In recent years, the typical major trauma patient has changed from being young and male to being older in age, with falls of < 2 metres being the most common mechanism of injury. We present a case of an 84-year-old male who had fallen in his home. This case highlights the complex nature of a relatively common incident. Case presentation: The patient was laid on the floor in the prone position unable to move for 12 hours. He did not complain of any pain in his neck, back, hips or legs, and wished to be lifted off the floor promptly. On examination, he had bruising to his chest and abdomen and had suffered a suspected cervical spine injury due to a step-like protrusion around C5–C6. Distal sensory and motor function was intact. While in the ambulance his blood pressure dropped from 154/119 mmHg to 49/28 mmHg unexpectedly. We successfully reversed the shock using the modified Trendelenburg position and intravenous fluids. On follow-up he was diagnosed with dislocated C3, C6 and C7 vertebrae. Conclusion: The unexpected episode of shock witnessed in this patient may have been caused by a number of phenomena, including but not limited to crush syndrome, spinal cord concussion and orthostatic hypotension. We recommend that clinicians anticipate sudden shock in older adult patients who have fallen and a) have remained static on the floor for an extended period of time or b) are suspected of a spinal injury. We recommend assertive management of these patients to mitigate the impact of shock through postural positioning and consideration of early cannulation.