Trauma in Elderly People Attended by a Mobile Emergency Service
AbstractIntroduction: The process of aging causes bio-psychosocial changes, that commonly, make the elderly more likely to be affected by chronic diseases and disorders due to external causes. Objective: Analize the occurrence of trauma and demographic characteristics of elderly people attended by a mobile emergency service. Method: This is a cross-sectional study conducted in the city of Sousa, in northeast region of Brazil, using data from 190 records of elderly victims of trauma attended by the MES from January 1St to December 31St of 2011. The Pearson’s chi-square test (χ2) or Fisher’s exact test with Freeman-Halton extension, were used to observe possible associations between variables. A significance level of α<5% was considered. Results: From the total of 190 elderly, 51.1% were male, aged between 60 and 104 years, mean age of 75.3 years (SD 10.44 years) and median of 74.0 years. Regarding the occurrence of trauma, 91.6% occurred in urban areas, 35.8% in the morning, 46.3% at weekend and 42.1% in the months from May to August. Falls stood out with 65.3% of cases and 87.9% had no alcohol on their breath during first-aid care. Among the injuries, wounds were predominant (62.3%) and 87.4% were referred to hospital. A significant association was observed between the presence of alcohol on the breath and sex (p<0.001) and age group (p=0.004) and between trauma mechanism and sex (p<0.001). Higher susceptibility was observed among males in the most advanced age group. Among the types of trauma, falls occurred mainly among women and traffic accidents among men. The presence of alcohol on the breath was verified especially among men and the majority of them were referred to hospitals. Conclusion: Knowledge of the characteristics of the demographics and occurrences of trauma in elderly people is necessary for the early identification of those individuals more exposed to this risk. Thus, it is considered that this research was relevant to characterize the elderly people requiring first-aid assistance and the occurrences of trauma, furthermore it is hoped that educational measures should be implemented in the community in order to prevent such traumas.
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