Document Detail

Handling of drug-related emergencies: an evaluation of emergency medical dispatch.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19106718     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
AIMS: Documenting the quality of emergency dispatch centres handling of emergency calls regarding intoxicated unconscious patients. METHODS: Interview with eight emergency dispatch centre directors and a nationwide survey among 313 dispatchers in Norway were performed. In addition, a customized scoring system was used to evaluate dispatcher log recordings of real cases. The recordings were compared with information from corresponding ambulance records. RESULTS: Ninety-nine percent of the dispatchers stated that they used the Norwegian protocol for medical emergencies and 89% of them found it useful. The interviews, the survey, and the recordings, however, documented frequent deviation from the protocol. This instructs ambulance dispatch for any unconscious patient, but 21% stated that they would not dispatch any resource for an unconscious patient without further survey in alcohol-related cases. This was significantly more often (P<0.05) than for the narcotic, combination and prescription - drug-related cases with 4, 10 and 7%, respectively. The recordings revealed deviation from the protocol with dispatchers only determining the patients' level of consciousness and respiratory status in 64 and 70% of the cases, respectively. For 16% of the cases, the dispatcher did not ask the caller about consciousness at all, even though these patients later were found with reduced consciousness. CONCLUSION: On the basis of the interviews and the survey, cases were handled according to guidelines. The log recordings, however, disclosed deviation from the protocol. Alcohol intoxication was associated with higher rate of deviation from the protocol compared with other intoxications.
Lorem Tonje; Saether Elisabeth; Wik Lars
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  European journal of emergency medicine : official journal of the European Society for Emergency Medicine     Volume:  16     ISSN:  1473-5695     ISO Abbreviation:  Eur J Emerg Med     Publication Date:  2009 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-12-24     Completed Date:  2009-04-24     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9442482     Medline TA:  Eur J Emerg Med     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  37-42     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Research and Development, Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation, Drobak, Norway.
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MeSH Terms
Clinical Protocols*
Cross-Sectional Studies
Data Collection
Emergency Medical Service Communication Systems / standards*
Guideline Adherence
Interviews as Topic
Substance-Related Disorders*

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