Association between using a prehospital assessment unit and hospital admission and mortality: a matched cohort study

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OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to compare hospital admission and 30-day mortality between patients assessed by the prehospital assessment unit (PAU) and patients not assessed by the PAU.

DESIGN: This was a matched cohort study.

SETTING: This study was conducted between November 2021 and October 2022 in Region Zealand, Denmark.

PARTICIPANTS: 989 patients aged >18, assessed by the PAU, were identified, and 9860 patients not assessed by the PAU were selected from the emergency calls using exposure density sampling.

EXPOSURE: Patients assessed by the PAU. The PAU is operated by paramedics with access to point-of-care test facilities. The PAU is an alternative response vehicle without the capability of transporting patients.

PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was hospital admission within 48 hours after the initial call. The key secondary outcomes were admission within 7 days, 30-day mortality and admission within 6 hours. Descriptive statistical analyses were conducted, and logistic regression models were used to estimate adjusted OR (aOR) and 95% CI.

RESULTS: Among the PAU assessed, 44.1% were admitted within 48 hours, compared with 72.9% of the non-PAU assessed, p<0.001. The multivariable analysis showed a lower risk of admission within 48 hours and 7 days among the PAU patients, aOR 0.31 (95% CI 0.26 to 0.38) and aOR 0.50 (95% CI 0.38 to 0.64), respectively. The 30-day mortality rate was 3.8% in the PAU-assessed patients vs 5.5% in the non-PAU-assessed patients, p=0.03. In the multivariable analysis, no significant difference was found in mortality aOR 0.99 (95% CI 0.71 to 1.42). No deaths were observed in PAU-assessed patients without subsequent follow-up.

CONCLUSION: The recently introduced PAU aims for patient-centred emergency care. The PAU-assessed patients had reduced admissions within 48 hours and 7 days after the initial call. Study findings indicate that the PAU is safe since we identified no significant differences in 30-day mortality.


TidsskriftBMJ open
Udgave nummer9
StatusUdgivet - 22 sep. 2023

Bibliografisk note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.


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