Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Dan Med J. 2013 Jul;60(7):A4647.

A helicopter emergency medical service may allow faster access to highly specialised care.

Author information

1
Department of Anaesthesia, Centre of Head and Orthopaedics, Rigshospitalet. monika_afzali@hotmail.com

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Centralization of the hospital system entails longer transport for some patients. A physician-staffed helicopter may provide effective triage, advanced management and fast transport to highly specialized treatment for time-critical patients. The aim of this study was to describe activity and possible beneficial effect of a physician-staffed helicopter in a one-year trial period in eastern Denmark.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

This was a prospective observational study of all missions related to a daylight operating, physician-staffed helicopter. We recorded information about the activity during 12 months, focusing on dispatchment, diagnoses, medical interventions, admission patterns and 30-day mortality.

RESULTS:

There were a total of 574 missions resulting in 609 patient contacts. Activity ranged from 22 to 76 missions per month. The helicopter was grounded 6% of its operating time, mainly due to weather conditions. The primary patient categories were trauma (43.5%) and cardiac disease (26.1%). The physician acted as Medical Incident Officer at three major incidents. A total of 53 endotracheal intubations, 13 intraosseous cannula insertions and four tube thoracostomies were performed. The median hospital length-of-stay was four days, 30-day mortality was 6.1% and 86 patients were transferred to intensive care units.

CONCLUSION:

The physician-staffed helicopter had approximately two missions per day the first year, mainly in relation to trauma and cardiac patients needing specialized treatment. Advanced medical interventions were commonly performed.

FUNDING:

Funded by Trygfonden.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

not relevant.

PMID:
23809963
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Danish Medical Association
Loading ...
Support Center