Document Detail

Comparison of mean on-scene times: road versus air transportation of critically ill patients in the Western Cape of South Africa.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18299358     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: The South African setting lends itself to the extensive use of air transport. There is a perception with healthcare providers that flight crews spend too much time with a patient before departure. The main advantage of aero medical transport is to minimise the delay to definitive care and prolonged on-scene time defies this objective. A study was carried out to examine the mean on-scene times of aero medical and road transport of critically ill patients in the Western Cape of South Africa. METHODS: In this retrospective observational study, all critically ill patients transported in the Western Cape between September 2005 and May 2006 were evaluated. The mean on-scene time for each transport mode was calculated. Road transport was compared with air transport (rotor and fixed wing). Every transport mode was further divided into mission types: "scene" missions (scene to a healthcare facility) or "inter-facility" missions (from one healthcare facility to another). RESULTS: A total of 7924 transports were included in the study, 7580 of which (95.7%) were road transports. The air transport group spent 53.2 min (95% CI 51.1 to 55.4) at the scene compared with 27.9 min (95% CI 27.5 to 28.4) for the road transport group. There was a significant difference between scene and inter-facility missions in the air transport group (mean 31.7 min for scene missions vs 58.7 min for inter-facility missions; p<0.001). A significant difference was also found in the road transport (mean 24.6 min for scene missions vs 31.9 min for inter-facility missions; p<0.001). CONCLUSION: The on-scene time for transport missions by road is significantly less than for those done by air. There are significant differences between scene and inter-facility missions in both transport modes. Capacity building programmes with ongoing education and training of staff at referring facilities should be implemented.
D J Van Hoving; W P Smith; L A Wallis
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Emergency medicine journal : EMJ     Volume:  25     ISSN:  1472-0213     ISO Abbreviation:  Emerg Med J     Publication Date:  2008 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-02-26     Completed Date:  2008-03-25     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100963089     Medline TA:  Emerg Med J     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  136-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Division of Emergency Medicine, Stellenbosch University/University of Cape Town, South Africa.
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MeSH Terms
Air Ambulances*
Analysis of Variance
Critical Illness*
Emergency Medical Services*
Quality Assurance, Health Care
Retrospective Studies
South Africa
Statistics, Nonparametric
Time Factors
Time and Motion Studies

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