Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], September 8 : A study has recently found that older adults, who frail, are more likely to experience negative outcomes after trauma.
More so than age, other health issues or the severity of the injury, pre-admission frailty is associated with in-hospital death and transfer to another acute-care hospital or to a long-term care facility, according to the study.
Senior study author Dr. Camilla Wong from St. Michael's Hospital in Ontario said that older trauma patients, in general, have worse outcomes than younger patients, with higher mortality, higher complication rates, longer hospital stays, and an increased likelihood of being transferred to a long-term care facility.
"Worse outcomes in this population cannot solely be explained by their advanced age. We found that the increased vulnerability to negative outcomes among older trauma patients is likely due in large part to frailty," Wong added.
The researchers measured frailty upon admission to hospital with the Clinical Frailty Scale, a clinical assessment tool that uses data on a patient's cognition, mobility, function and comorbidities.
The research was conducted on 260 patients. The findings indicated that 11 people died in hospital, 71 were transferred to another acute care hospital and 11 were transferred to a chronic-care or long-term care facility.
About 71 per cent of patients with pre-admission frailty were transferred to another hospital or long-term care facility, or died, compared with only 28 per cent of patients without pre-admission frailty.
"This tool allowed us to identify frailty when a patient is admitted, and can be easily implemented and used to guide management and decision making in the geriatric trauma population," she said.
The study demonstrates that the Clinical Frailty Scale can identify older adults at risk of adverse outcomes after injury and can enable clinicians to better triage patients and manage resources for this population.
The research appeared in the journal of the American College of Surgeons..