[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The increasing number of elderly patients accessing emergency departments (ED) requires use of validated, rapid assessment instruments. The aim of this study was to compare the Identification of Seniors at Risk (ISAR) and Triage Risk Screening Tool (TRST), based on direct patient evaluation.
This study was a prospective observational study with 6 months follow-up. Subjects were 2,057 residents in the Marche Region, aged 65 or more years, accessing the first-level ED of a geriatric hospital in Ancona, Italy, over a 6-month period.
ISAR and TRST were administered at triage by nurse. Outcomes were in need of hospital admission and mortality at the index ED access, early (within 30 days) and late ED revisit, hospitalization, and death in 6 months.
ISAR (cutoff of≥2) was positive in 68% of patients, whereas 64% were TRST-positive. The two scores were significantly correlated and had similar areas under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves in predicting hospital admission (ISAR, 0.68; TRST, 0.66) and mortality (ISAR, 0.74; TRST, 0.68), as well as early ED revisit (ISAR, 0.63; TRST, 0.61). In the 6-month follow-up of patients discharged alive, the tools predicted comparably ED return visit (ISAR, 0.60; TRST, 0.59), hospital admission (ISAR, 0.63; TRST, 0.60), and mortality (ISAR, 0.74; TRST, 0.73). A similar performance was observed in the subgroup of participants discharged directly from the ED. ConcLUSIONS: Risk stratification of elderly ED patients with ISAR or TRST is substantially comparable for selecting elderly ED patients who could benefit from geriatric interventions. ISAR had slightly higher sensitivity and lower specificity than TRST.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Rejuvenation Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Frail older adults are at an increased risk for adverse outcomes after an Emergency Department (ED) visit. Comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) has been proposed to screen for frailty in the ED, but it is difficult to carry out. We tested whether a CGA-based approach using the Identification of Seniors At Risk (ISAR) screening tool was associated with the brief deficit accumulation index (DAI) of frailty.
Prospective observational study.
Two urban EDs in Italy.
A cohort of 200 elderly (≥65 years) ED patients.
Identifiers, triage, clinical and social data along with the administration of ISAR. CGA was performed using: Charlson Index, Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire and Katz's ADL. Follow-up data at 30 and 180 days included: mortality, ED revisit, hospital admission, and functional decline. Frailty was defined according to a brief DAI. Logistic regression evaluated the consistency of the frailty definition; ROC curves evaluated ISAR ability in identifying frailty.
Frailty was present in 117 (58.5%) subjects and predicted ED revisit and frequent ED return, hospitalization and 6-month mortality. ISAR had an AUC of 0.92 (95%CI 0.88-0.96, p<0.0001) in identifying frail elders in the ED and using a cut-off of 2 showed 94% sensitivity and 63% specificity.
ISAR is a useful screening tool for frailty and identifies elderly patients at risk of adverse outcomes after an ED visit. ISAR can also be used to select high-risk patients more likely to benefit from a geriatric approach or intervention, independently of admission or discharge.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · The Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary embolism is still currently considered a very insidious disease and if not diagnosed and treated rapidly is lethal in almost 10 percent of all cases. Clinical and patient history data are essential for the diagnosis and evaluation of the clinical risk of pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism, particularly during minor episodes, was primarily identified by abnormalities in D-dimer concentration during laboratory testing. Indeed, an increase in D-dimer plasma levels was consequently identified as a valid diagnostic element for pulmonary embolism and therefore, in the absence of D-dimer abnormalities, a tendency to exclude such diagnosis exists. This case report describes the importance of carrying out level II diagnostic investigations which may be particularly valid in patients with a minimal rise in D-dimer levels and a clinical suspicion of a pulmonary embolism. This method allows for a quick diagnosis with early therapeutic measures which improve survival rates during the acute and critical phase.
No preview · Article · Apr 2010 · Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In western countries approximately a quarter of the population is 65 years and older. People in this age group often have several coexisting medical problems and take multiple drugs, and older people receive the greatest proportion of dispensed prescriptions. The prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, the leading cause of death and a major cause of physical and cognitive disability, increases steeply with increasing age. Drugs for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular conditions account for a large proportion of medication prescription in older persons. Despite a number of published guidelines and expert recommendations supporting a standardized use of many cardiovascular agents, there is growing evidence of a tremendous variability in cardiovascular drug prescriptions according to demographics, health characteristics, and setting of care. In particular, evidence shows an inverse relationship between treatment propensity and age. To date, there is little evidence of benefit of most pharmacotherapy in frail, older subjects or elderly individuals with multiple comorbidities and polypharmacotherapy. However, effective treatment should not be denied solely on the basis of age. A major challenge in geriatric practice is to ensure safe and effective pharmacological treatments, avoiding the risk of polypharmacy and inappropriate drug prescription.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Elderly patients presenting to Emergency Departments (ED) have complex health problems and often undergo adverse outcomes after an ED visit. In Canadian ED, the Identification of Seniors At Risk (ISAR) is useful in screening for these aspects. This study evaluated the predictive validity of ISAR for elderly patients presenting to Italian ED.
Prospective observational study of a cohort of 200 elderly patients presenting to two urban ED in Ancona (Italy). Identifiers and triage, clinical and social data were collected, and the ISAR was administered. The following single outcomes were considered: early (30-day) and late (6-month) ED revisit, frequent ED return, hospital admission, and functional decline. Composite outcomes were:  death, long-term care (LTC) placement, functional decline;  the same as  plus any ED revisit or hospitalization. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated.
ISAR was positive for 141 (70.5%) subjects, who had high comorbidity, disability and cognitive impairment. ISAR-positive patients had an OR of 4.77 (95% CI, 2.19-10.42) to undergo composite outcome  and of 3.46 (95% CI, 1.68-7.15) to experience composite outcome . ISAR also predicted ED revisit and frequent use, hospitalization and functional decline at 6 months. ISAR was also an independent predictor of 6-month mortality (Hazard Ratio 6.9, 95% CI 1.65-29, p=0.008).
ISAR can be used as a screening test to identify Italian elderly ED patients who have an increased 6-month risk of death, LTC placement, functional decline, ED revisit, or hospitalization.
No preview · Article · Mar 2009 · Aging clinical and experimental research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The current disease-oriented, episodic model of emergency care does not adequately address the complex needs of older adults presenting to emergency departments (EDs). Dedicated ED facilities with a specific organization (e.g., geriatric EDs (GEDs)) have been advocated. One of the few GED experiences in the world is described and its outcomes compared with those of a conventional ED (CED). In a secondary analysis of a prospective observational cohort of 200 acutely ill elderly patients presenting to two urban EDs in Ancona, Italy, identifiers and triage, clinical, and social data were collected and the following outcomes considered: early (30-day) and late (6-month) ED revisit, frequent ED return, hospital admission, and functional decline. Death, functional decline, any ED revisit and any hospital admission were also considered as a composite outcome. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. Overall, GED patients were older and frailer than CED patients. The two EDs did not differ in terms of early, late, or frequent ED return or in 6-month hospital admission or functional decline. The mortality rate was slightly but significantly lower in the GED patients (hazard ratio=0.47, 95% CI=0.22-0.99, P=.047). The data suggest noninferiority and, indirectly, a slight superiority for the GED system in the acute care of elderly people, supporting the hypothesis that ED facilities specially designed for older adults may provide better care.
No preview · Article · Dec 2008 · Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The elderly are an ever increasing population in overcrowded emergency departments (EDs) in many countries. They have multiple health problems and consume more time and resources than younger patients. They are more frequently admitted and experience adverse outcomes after they are discharged from the ED. These frail patients could require specific skills, instruments and organisational models of emergency care in order to look after their complex needs. As such, several approaches have been tried and tested to improve emergency care for them. This article analyses the epidemiological load and problems faced when confronted with elder ED patients. We critically review organisational models, clinical approaches and methodologies in order to reduce ED physicians' difficulties and to improve quality of care and outcomes for elder patients. Triage, clinical assessment and discharge are identified as critical moments during an emergency care process, and interesting and useful instruments are proposed as possible solutions.
No preview · Article · Jan 2008 · Internal and Emergency Medicine