Table 2

Characteristics of patients attended by an emergency ambulance between 6 pm and midnight on Mondays

Thunderstorm asthma period
(n=615)
Comparator period (n=1111)P valueRisk ratio (95% CI)
Age (years), mean (SD)45.1 (22.9)50.4 (26.1)<0.001-
Age (years), n (%):
0-1454 (8.9)84 (7.6)0.41.16 (0.84 to 1.61)
15-30117 (19.2)227 (20.7)0.50.93 (0.76 to 1.14)
31-50215 (35.3)250 (22.8)<0.0011.55 (1.33 to 1.81)
51-70128 (21.0)237 (21.6)0.80.97 (0.81 to 1.18)
≥7195 (15.6)301 (27.4)<0.0010.57 (0.46 to 0.70)
Missing612--
Male gender, n (%)328 (53.4)539 (48.7)0.061.10 (1.00 to 1.21)
Missing13--
Pre-existing medical conditions, n (%):
Asthma228 (37.4)119 (11.0)<0.0013.41 (2.80 to 4.16)
Other respiratory39 (6.4)93 (8.60.10.75 (0.52 to 1.07)
Missing524--
Current asthma medications, n (%):
Preventer8 (1.4)35 (3.4)0.020.41 (0.19 to 0.87)
Bronchodilator156 (26.4)95 (9.1)<0.0012.91 (2.30 to 3.68)
Both65 (11.0)63 (6.0)<0.0011.83 (1.31 to 2.55)
Missing2565--
Breathing problems identified in emergency phone call, n (%)345 (56.1)125 (11.3)<0.0014.99 (4.17 to 5.97)
Dispatch priority, n (%):
Time critical527 (85.7)550 (49.5)<0.0011.73 (1.62 to 1.85)
Acute but not time critical66 (10.7)442 (39.8)<0.0010.27 (0.21 to 0.34)
Non-acute22 (3.6)119 (10.7)<0.0010.33 (0.21 to 0.52)
Response time (mins), median (interquartile range):
Time critical16.7 (11.1 to 26.9)11.2 (8.6 to 16.9)<0.001-
Acute but not time critical25.0 (13.0 to 42.3)23.6 (15.9 to 36.7)0.99-
Non-acute42.9 (30.4 to 61.0)39.2 (22.4 to 68.4)0.7-
Paramedic assessed acute respiratory distress, n (%)291 (47.3)43 (3.9)<0.00112.2 (9.0 to 16.6)
Transported to hospital, n (%)448 (72.8)873 (78.6)0.0070.93 (0.88 to 0.98)

Thunderstorm asthma period comprised 6 pm to11 59 pm on 21 November 2016; comparator period comprised 6 pm to 11 59 pm on the three Mondays before. Proportions exclude missing data. CI=confidence interval; SD=standard deviation.