+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Ambulance call triage outcomes for patients reporting pain: a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of pain score versus triage level



Ambulance call triage outcomes for patients reporting pain: a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of pain score versus triage level



Emergency Medicine Journal 26(2): 123-127



To identify any association between the response priority code generated during calls to the ambulance communication centre and patient reports of pain severity. A retrospective analysis of patient care records was undertaken for all patients transported by paramedics over a 7-day period. The primary research interest was the association between the response code allocated at the time of telephone triage and the initial pain severity score recorded using a numeric rating scale (NRS). Univariate and multivariate logistic regression methods were used to analyse the association between the response priority variable and explanatory variables. There were 1246 cases in which both an initial pain score using the NRS and a response code were recorded. Of these cases, 716/1246 (57.5%) were associated with a code 1 ("time-critical") response. After adjusting for gender, age, cause of pain and duration of pain, a multivariate logistic regression analysis found no significant change in the odds of a patient in pain receiving a time-critical response compared with patients who had no pain, regardless of their initial pain score (NRS 1-3, odds ratio (OR) 1.11, 95% CI 0.7 to 1.8; NRS 4-7, OR 1.12, 95% CI 0.7 to 1.8; NRS 8-10, OR 0.84, 95% CI 0.5 to 1.4). The severity of pain experienced by the patient appeared to have no influence on the priority (urgency) of the dispatch response. Triage systems used to prioritise ambulance calls and decide the urgency of response or type of referral options should consider pain severity to facilitate timely and humane care.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 051451867

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 19164628

DOI: 10.1136/emj.2008.058719


Related references

A retrospective quality assessment of the 7119 call triage system in Tokyo - telephone triage for non-ambulance cases. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare 20(5): 233-238, 2014

Feasibility of pre-hospital chest pain triage at home or in the ambulance by paramedics using the HEART score based upon a single high-sensitive troponin T analysis. European Heart Journal 34(Suppl 1): P4051-P4051, 2013

Effectiveness of using the front door score to enhance the chest pain triage accuracy of emergency nurse triage decisions. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing 28(6): E55-E64, 2014

Comparing triage decisions for the same patients with a five-level and a three-level triage scale: a quick exercise for nurses orienting to triage. Journal of Emergency Nursing: Jen 29(2): 191-192, 2003

The effects of anxiety sensitivity, pain hypervigilance, and pain catastrophizing on quality of life outcomes of patients with chronic pain: a preliminary, cross-sectional analysis. Quality of Life Research 23(8): 2333-2341, 2014

Changes in Relative Importance of the 5-Level Triage System, Korean Triage and Acuity Scale, for the Disposition of Emergency Patients Induced by Forced Reduction in Its Level Number: a Multi-Center Registry-based Retrospective Cohort Study. Journal of Korean Medical Science 34(14): E114, 2019

Accuracy of emergency department triage using the Emergency Severity Index and independent predictors of under-triage and over-triage in Brazil: a retrospective cohort analysis. International Journal of Emergency Medicine 11(1): 3, 2018

Ambulance despatchers' estimation of intensity of pain and presence of associated symptoms in relation to outcome in patients who call for an ambulance because of acute chest pain. European Heart Journal 16(12): 1789-1794, 1995

E-Transmission of ECGs for expert consultation results in improved triage and treatment of patients with acute ischaemic chest pain by ambulance paramedics. Netherlands Heart Journal 26(11): 562-571, 2018

Pain assessments at triage with the Manchester triage system: a prospective observational study. Emergency Medicine Journal 28(7): 585-589, 2011

Over-triage occurs when considering the patient's pain in Korean Triage and Acuity Scale (KTAS). Plos one 14(5): E0216519, 2019

The effect of nurses' preparedness and nurse practitioner status on triage call management in primary care: A secondary analysis of cross-sectional data from the ESTEEM trial. International Journal of Nursing Studies 58: 12-20, 2016

Comparing the Air Medical Prehospital Triage Score With Current Practice for Triage of Injured Patients to Helicopter Emergency Medical Services: A Cost-effectiveness Analysis. JAMA Surgery 153(3): 261-268, 2018

Teleconsultation in children with abdominal pain: a comparison of physician triage recommendations and an established paediatric telephone triage protocol. Bmc Medical Informatics and Decision Making 13: 110, 2013

Validation of the Alder Hey Triage Pain Score. Archives of Disease in Childhood 89(7): 625-630, 2004