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The demand for prehospital emergency services in an aging society

Social Science & Medicine

Author: McConnel, C. E., Wilson, R. W.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1998


Examines the implications of an aging society on the demand for prehospital emergency medical services (EMS), drawing on 1990 population-based EMS utilization data (N = 73,874 incidents) & census data for Dallas, TX, to compute utilization rates for eight age groups for total EMS incidents, incidents requiring transport services, & a subcategory of transport services for individuals requiring services for life-threatening conditions. The pattern of utilization associated with age was found to be trimodal, with rates rising geometrically with age for individuals age 65+. Compared to those ages 45-64, utilization rates for those age 85+ were 3.4 times higher for incidents, 4.5 times higher for emergency transports, & 5.2 times higher for incidents of a life-threatening nature. A broad categorization of all EMS incidents by reason for requiring services indicates that the observed age-associated increase in utilization is primarily due to medical conditions rather than incidents arising from trauma. Gender & racial/ethnic differences in utilization are briefly considered.

Further Details

Full Title: Social Science & Medicine
Pages: 1027-1031
Volume: 46
Issue: 8
Accession Number: 22.5.03
Research Notes: Electronic copy added 17/07/2013
Keywords: North Americaolderhealth servicesemergency servicesUtilizationhealth service planning
Reads: 140