Introduction: Falls are a globally prevalent health issue, with 37.3 million falls severe enough to require medical attention each year. Falls can result in major trauma and are the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths worldwide. The role of emergency medical services (EMS) in the pre-hospital emergency treatment of falls is critical, however the sources describing this phase of care has not previously been synthesised. The aim of this scoping review is to identify and map the published literature on the characteristics and injuries of adults who fall, are attended by EMS, EMS interventions and patient disposition.
Methods: The methods for scoping reviews outlined by the JBI Manual for Evidence Synthesis will be used. Databases including Medline, Scopus, CINAHL Plus, Cochrane, EMBASE and ProQuest will be searched from inception. Reference lists of included sources will also be searched. Two reviewers will independently complete title, abstract and full text screening. Included sources will be summarised using narrative synthesis and conceptual categories including patient characteristics, injuries, EMS intervention and patient disposition will be mapped.
Discussion This protocol describes the framework to identify the scope, comprehensiveness and concepts surrounding pre-hospital falls to identify gaps in knowledge regarding the role of EMS in attending patients who sustain a fall.
- accidental falls
- emergency medical services
- emergency medical technicians
- Joanna Briggs Institute