Which older emergency patients are at risk of intracranial bleeding after a fall? A protocol to derive a clinical decision rule for the emergency department Academic Article uri icon

  •  
  • Overview
  •  
  • Research
  •  
  • Identity
  •  
  • Additional Document Info
  •  
  • View All
  •  

abstract

  • IntroductionFalling on level ground is now the most common cause of traumatic intracranial bleeding worldwide. Older adults frequently present to the emergency department (ED) after falling. It can be challenging for clinicians to determine who requires brain imaging to rule out traumatic intracranial bleeding, and often head injury decision rules do not apply to older adults who fall. The goal of our study is to derive a clinical decision rule, which will identify older adults who present to the ED after a fall who do not have clinically important intracranial bleeding.Methods and analysisThis is a prospective cohort study enrolling patients aged 65 years or older, who present to the ED of 11 hospitals in Canada and the USA within 48 hours of having a fall. Patients are included if they fall on level ground, off a chair, toilet seat or out of bed. The primary outcome is the diagnosis of clinically important intracranial bleeding within 42 days of the index ED visit. An independent adjudication committee will determine the primary outcome, blinded to all other data. We are collecting data on 17 potential predictor variables. The treating physician completes a study data form at the time of initial assessment, prior to brain imaging. Data extraction is supplemented by an independent, structured electronic medical record review. We will perform binary recursive partitioning using Classification and Regression Trees to derive a clinical decision rule.Ethics and disseminationThe study was initially approved by the Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Committee and subsequently approved by the research ethics boards governing all participating sites. We will disseminate our results by journal publication, presentation at international meetings and social media.Trial registration numberNCT03745755.

publication date

  • July 2021