Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J Emerg Med. 2011 Jun 14;4(1):28. doi: 10.1186/1865-1380-4-28.

A retrospective evaluation of the impact of a dedicated obstetric and neonatal transport service on transport times within an urban setting.

Author information

  • 1Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa. Sdevries@pgwc.gov.za.



To determine whether the establishment of a dedicated obstetric and neonatal flying squad resulted in improved performance within the setting of a major metropolitan area.


The Cape Town metropolitan service of the Emergency Medical Services was selected for a retrospective review of the transit times for the newly implemented Flying Squad programme. Data were imported from the Computer Aided Dispatch programme. Dispatch, Response, Mean Transit and Total Pre-hospital times relating to the obstetric and neonatal incidents was analysed for 2005 and 2008.


There was a significant improvement between 2005 and 2008 in all incidents evaluated. Flying Squad dispatch performance improved from 11.7% to 46.6% of all incidents dispatched within 4 min (p < 0.0001). Response time performance at the 15-min threshold did not demonstrate a statistically significant improvement (p = 0.4), although the improvement in the 30-min performance category was statistically significant in both maternity and neonatal incidents. Maternity incidents displayed the greatest improvement with the 30-min performance increasing from 30.3% to 72.9%. The analysis of the mean transit times demonstrated that neonatal transfers displayed the longest status time in all but one of the categories. Even so, the introduction of the Flying Squad programme resulted in a reduction in a total pre-hospital time from 177 to 128 min.


The introduction of the Flying Squad programme has resulted in significant improvement in the transit times of both neonatal and obstetric patients. In spite of the severe resource constraints facing developing nations, the model employed offers significant gains.

Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk