The Epidemiology of Pre-Hospital EMS Treatment of Geriatric Patients in the City of Vienna-An Overview

Mario Krammel, Valentin Drahohs, Thomas Hamp, Sabine Lemoyne, Daniel Grassmann, Wolfgang Schreiber, Patrick Sulzgruber, Sebastian Schnaubelt

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The city of Vienna, Austria, has a gradually aging population. Elderly people, over 65 years old and living at home or in nursing homes, frequently use Emergency Medical Services (EMS). However, there is no previous data comparing the EMS utilization of elderly- and non-elderly patients in Vienna. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed all EMS incidents in Vienna from 2012 to 2019. Transport- and emergency physician treatment rates, annual fluctuations, and the number of non-transports were compared between elderly (≥65 years) and non-elderly (18-64 years) patients. Results: Elderly people accounted for 42.6% of the total EMS responses in adult patients, representing an annual response rate of 223 per 1000 inhabitants ≥ 65 years. Compared to 76 per 1000 inhabitants in patients 18-64 years old, this results in an incidence rate ratio (IRR) of 2.93 [2.92-2.94]. Elderly people were more likely (OR 1.68 [1.65-1.70]) to need emergency physicians, compared to 18-64 year-olds. Nursing home residents were twice (OR 2.11 [2.06-2.17]) as likely to need emergency physicians than the rest of the study group. Non-transports were more likely to occur in patients over 65 years than in non-elderlies (14% vs. 12%, p < 0.001). Conclusions: The elderly population ≥ 65 years in Vienna shows higher EMS response rates than younger adults. They need emergency physicians more often, especially when residing in nursing homes. The economical and organizational strain this puts on the emergency response system should trigger further research and the development of solutions, such as specific response units dedicated to elderly people.

Original languageEnglish
Article number643
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2023


  • emergency medical service
  • emergency medicine
  • geriatric patients
  • nursing home
  • pre-hospital care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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