Personal alarm use to call the ambulance after a fall in older people: characteristics of clients and falls

Kylie Johnston, Anthea Worley, Karen Grimmer-Somers, Michele Sutherland, Lorraine Amos

Abstract


Introduction

To examine differences in fall characteristics and emergency service response to older fallers (≥ 65 years of age), considering their use, or not, of a personal alarm.


Methods

A retrospective one month audit of South Australian Ambulance Service records was conducted. Characteristics of ambulance call-outs for falls or alarm activations were described (Sample 1). Alarm-activated services for older fallers were matched (by day and type of service) with fallers who did not use a personal alarm (Sample 2).


Results

A retrospective one month audit of South Australian Ambulance Service records was conducted. Characteristics of ambulance call-outs for falls or alarm activations were described (Sample 1). Alarm-activated services for older fallers were matched (by day and type of service) with fallers who did not use a personal alarm (Sample 2).


Conclusion

Older women living alone were the major users of personal alarms for assistance after falling.
If activated quickly, alarms enabled most fallers to gain ambulance attention within 15 minutes. However, personal alarm use was also associated with a high incidence of false alarms.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.33151/ajp.8.4.86

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The Official Journal of Paramedics Australasia © 2019                           ISSN: 2202-7270

 

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