Paramedic versus emergency physician emergency medical service: role of the anaesthesiologist and the European versus the Anglo-American concept.

Department of Anaesthesiology, Emergency and Intensive Care Medicine, Georg-August University, Goettingen, Germany.
Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology (Impact Factor: 2.4). 05/2008; 21(2):222-7. DOI: 10.1097/ACO.0b013e3282f5f4f7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Much controversy exists about who can provide the best medical care for critically ill patients in the prehospital setting. The Anglo-American concept is on the whole to provide well trained paramedics to fulfil this task, whereas in some European countries emergency medical service physicians, particularly anaesthesiologists, are responsible for the safety of these patients.
Currently there are no convincing level I studies showing that an emergency physician-based emergency medical service leads to a decrease in overall mortality or morbidity of prehospital treated patients, but many methodical, legal and ethical issues make such studies difficult. Looking at specific aspects of prehospital care, differences in short-term survival and outcome have been reported when patients require cardiopulmonary resuscitation, advanced airway management or other invasive procedures, well directed fluid management and pharmacotherapy as well as fast diagnostic-based decisions.
Evidence suggests that some critically ill patients benefit from the care provided by an emergency physician-based emergency medical service, but further studies are needed to identify the characteristics and early recognition of these patients.

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    European Journal of Emergency Medicine 05/2014; EJEM-D-13-00422R2. · 1.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: All Scandinavian countries provide anaesthesiologist-staffed pre-hospital services. Little is known of the incidence of critical illness or injury attended by these services. We aimed to investigate anaesthesiologist-staffed pre-hospital services in Scandinavia with special emphasis on incidence and severity. This population-based, prospective study recorded activity in 16 anaesthesiologist-staffed pre-hospital services in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden serving half of the Scandinavian population. We calculated population incidence of medical conditions, and the proportion of patients with severely deranged vital signs and/or receiving advanced therapy. Four thousand two hundred thirty-six alarm calls were recorded during 4 weeks. Two thousand two hundred fity-six alarms resulted in a patient encounter. The population incidence varied from 74.9 missions per 10,000 person-years (Denmark), followed by Finland with 14.6, Norway with 11, and Sweden with 5. Medical aetiology was most frequent (14.9 missions per 10,000 person-years, 95% CI: 14.2-15.8). Trauma was second (5.6 missions per 10,000 person-years, 95%CI: 5.12-6.09). Twenty-three per cent of patients had severely deranged vital functions, and advanced emergency medical procedures were performed in every four to twelve encounters (Denmark 8%, Sweden 15%, Norway 23%, and Finland 25%). The probability that the patient was physiologically deranged, received advanced medication, or procedure was 35%. Critical illness or injury occured at a rate of 25-30 per 10,000 person-years. The incidence of pre-hospital anaesthesiologist patient encounters in Scandinavia varies. Medical aetiology is most frequent. Almost one-quarter of patients presents with deranged vital functions requiring emergency measures. The Scandinavian pre-hospital population incidence of critical illness and injury is 25-30 per 10,000 person-years.
    Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica 09/2013; · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prehospital airway management is a key component of emergency responders and remains an important task of Emergency Medical Service (EMS) systems worldwide. The most advanced airway management techniques involving placement of oropharyngeal airways such as the Laryngeal Mask Airway or endotracheal tube. Endotracheal tube placement success is a common measure of out-of-hospital airway management quality. Regional variation in regard to training, education, and procedural exposure may be the major contributor to the findings in success and patient outcome. In studies demonstrating poor outcomes related to prehospital-attempted endotracheal intubation (ETI), both training and skill level of the provider are usually often low. Research supports a relationship between the number of intubation experiences and ETI success. National standards for certification of emergency medicine provider are in general too low to guarantee good success rate in emergency airway management by paramedics and physicians. Some paramedic training programs require more intense airway training above the national standard and some EMS systems in Europe staff their system with anesthesia providers instead. ETI remains the cornerstone of definitive prehospital airway management, However, ETI is not without risk and outcomes data remains controversial. Many systems may benefit from more input and guidance by the anesthesia department, which have higher volumes of airway management procedures and extensive training and experience not just with training of airway management but also with different airway management techniques and adjuncts.
    International journal of critical illness and injury science. 01/2014; 4(1):57-64.

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