Aim Pressure on emergency medical services (EMS) and the emergency departments is increasing, thus focus is on the possibility to treat and release patients on the scene. However, data on treat-and-release patients is scarce and often incomplete due to lack of identity number. We aimed to identify treat-and-release patients in a regional EMS cohort and to describe the documentation of vital signs and/or Glasgow-Coma-Scale (GCS).
Methods All ambulances dispatched after an emergency call in the North Denmark Region (approx. 5 80 000 inhabitants) from 2007 to 2014.1 We excluded cancelled ambulances and defined treat-and-release as the ambulances dispatched without subsequent hospital contact, including patients registered dead (registration of prehospital deaths is inconsistent because death declaration requires a doctor consultation). Patients were ‘identified’ or ‘unidentified’ based on the civil registration number.
Results We identified 31 087 ambulances dispatched to treat-and-release patients out 2 03 205 ambulance (15.3%). The number of identified versus unidentified patients was 10 272 (33.0%) and 20 815 (67.0%) respectively. A prehospital doctor was sent to 10 690 (34.4%) of the treat-and-release patients, 2354 (22.9%) to identified and 8336 (40.0%) to unidentified patients. Vital signs and/or GCS was registered in 13 678 (44.0%), 8240 (80.2%) of identified and 5438 (26.1%) of unidentified patients.
Conclusion Treat-and-leave patients constituted 15.3% of all emergency ambulances, and the documentation of civil registration number was poor. Vital signs and/or GCS were documented in less than half of the patients, only partly explained by including death on scene.
Christensen EF, Larsen TM, Jensen FB, Bendtsen MD, Hansen PA, Johnsen SP, et al. Diagnosis and mortality in prehospital emergency patients transported to hospital: a population-based and registry-based cohort study. BMJ Open2016;6(7):e011558.
Conflict of interest None declared.
Funding None declared.
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