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Gender differences in pre-hospital care

A Swedish study published in BMC Emergency Medicine has found that female trauma patients were less likely to be given the highest pre-hospital priority, the highest pre-hospital competence level, and direct transport to the designated trauma centre compared with male trauma patients. A retrospective observational study based on local trauma registries and hospital and ambulance records in Stockholm County, Sweden, was conducted. A total of 383 trauma patients (279 males and 104 females) over 15 years of age with an Injury Severity Score (ISS) of more than 15 transported to emergency care hospitals in the Stockholm area were included. Male patients had a 2.75 higher odds ratio (95 % CI, 1.2–6.2) for receiving the highest pre-hospital priority compared with females on controlling for injury mechanism and vital signs on scene. “We found differences in trauma mechanism between genders, namely, that the second most common trauma mechanism for females was a low-energy fall (26.9 %) … Perhaps this might be one of the reasons why females, despite severe injury, are not recognised at scene as potential severe trauma patients since the trauma mechanism is considered to be of low energy. Recognising gender differences with educational efforts and in pre-hospital trauma management protocols may expedite the trauma care of female patients.”

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