Effects of physician-based emergency medical service dispatch in severe traumatic brain injury on prehospital run time
until further notice
SourceInjury : International Journal of the Care of the Injured, 43, 11, (2012), pp. 1838-42
Article / Letter to editor
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Injury : International Journal of the Care of the Injured
SubjectDCN NN - Brain networks and neuronal communication
INTRODUCTION: Prehospital care by physician-based helicopter emergency medical services (P-HEMS) may prolong total prehospital run time. This has raised an issue of debate about the benefits of these services in traumatic brain injury (TBI). We therefore investigated the effects of P-HEMS dispatch on prehospital run time and outcome in severe TBI. METHODS: Prehospital run times of 497 patients with severe TBI who were solely treated by a paramedic EMS (n=125) or an EMS/P-HEMS combination (n=372) were retrospectively analyzed. Other study parameters included the injury severity score (ISS), Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), prehospital endotracheal intubation and predicted and observed outcome rates. RESULTS: Patients who received P-HEMS care were younger and had higher ISS values than solely EMS-treated patients (10%; P=0.04). The overall prehospital run time was 74+/-54min, with similar out-of-hospital times for EMS and P-HEMS treated patients. Prehospital endotracheal intubation was more frequently performed in the P-HEMS group (88%) than in the EMS group (35%; P<0.001). The prehospital run time for intubated patients was similar for P-HEMS (66 (51-80)min) and EMS-treated patients (59 (41-88min). Unexpectedly, mortality probability scores and observed outcome scores were less favourable for EMS-treated patients when compared to patients treated by P-HEMS. CONCLUSION: P-HEMS dispatch does not increase prehospital run times in severe TBI, while it assures prehospital intubation of TBI patients by a well-trained physician. Our data however suggest that a subgroup of the most severely injured patients received prehospital care by an EMS, while international guidelines recommend advanced life support by a physician-based EMS in these cases.
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