June 28, 2022

Excessive Hospitalization of Patients with Seizures in the Germany Prehospital Emergency System: a Retrospective Cohort Study

Abstract found on Nature Portfolio

Seizures are a common reason for calling emergency medical services. A lack of guidelines on prehospital treatment in Germany leads to high transportation rates and reduced confidence in decision making by professionals. Our aim was to investigate the reasons for hospitalization and evaluate their necessity. A retrospective analysis of all emergency medical services records in Munich, Germany was performed in order to examine the reasons for hospitalization of patients with seizures and to evaluate their trajectory following admission to a university hospital. 8882 records were analyzed with 415 records reporting seizures (4.9%). Primary endpoint was transportation to hospital. In 380 cases (92%) patients were transported, of which 177 patients (47%) had known epilepsy; 35 patients (8%) were left at scene. Older patients and patients with higher amounts of administered medication at the scene were hospitalized significantly more often (p?=?0.032 and p?=?0.004, respectively). Median hospital length of stay was 1 night [IQR 1–2]. In patients with out-of-hospital seizures, high hospital transportation rates were evident, most of which could be considered as not indicated. One possible reason is the lack of guidelines in Germany, which leads to uncertainty among medical staff. This results in distress for the patients, their caregivers and consequently high costs.