Age affects emergency care

August 18, 2008 4:49:48 PM PDT
Researchers have found evidence of age discrimination on the part of emergency medical personnel.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University looked at 10 years worth of ambulance data from Maryland. They found that ambulances were more likely to transport young patients to designated trauma centers, while roughly half of senior trauma patients over the age of 65 were steered away from those trauma centers.

The odds of being transported to a top trauma center first dropped at age 50 and then further declined when the patient was 70 or older.

Past studies have shown that healthy seniors have almost the same odds of recovery as younger patients as long as they receive the same treatment.

Emergency responders may subnconsciously opt for more aggressive care for younger patients, researchers said.


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