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HOME > J Trauma Inj > Volume 25(4); 2012 > Article
Physician-staffed Helicopter Transport for Mountain-rescued Emergency Patients: a Pilot Trial
Jeong Ho Park, Sang Do Shin, Eui Jung Lee, Chang Bae Park, Yu Jin Lee, Kyoung Soo Kim, Myoung Hee Park, Han Bum Kim, Do Kyun Kim, Woon Yong Kwon, Young Ho Kwak, Gil Joon Suh
Journal of Trauma and Injury 2012;25(4):230-240
DOI: https://doi.org/
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Department of Emergency Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. sdshin@snu.ac.kr
Received: 25 September 2012   • Revised: 5 October 2012   • Accepted: 4 December 2012

PURPOSE
We aimed to compare the transport time, the proportion of direct hospital visit and the emergency procedures between the current mountain rescue helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) and physician-staffed mountain-rescue HEMS.
METHODS
During weekends from October 2, to November 21, 2010, 9 emergency physicians participated as HEMS staff in the mountain-rescue HEMS program of the Seoul fire department. Patient demographic data, transport time, proportion of direct hospital visits, and emergency procedures were recorded. We also collected data on HEMS mountain-rescued patients from June 1, to September 1, 2010, and we compared them to those for the study patients. After an eight-week trial of the HEMS, we performed a delphi survey to determine the attitude of the physician staff, as well as the feasibility of using a physician staff.
RESULTS
Twenty-four(24) patients were rescued from mountains by physician-staffed HEMS during the study period, and 35 patients were rescued during the pre-study period. Patient demographic findings were not statistically different between the two groups, but the transport time and the emergency procedures were. During the study period, the time from call to take-off was 6.1+/-4.1 min (vs. 12.1+/-8.9 min during the pre-study period, p-value=0.001), and the time from call to arrival at the scene was 15.0+/-4.8 min (vs. 22.3+/-8.1 min during the pre-study period, p-value=0.0001). The proportions of direct hospital visit were not different between the two groups, but more aggressive emergency procedures were implemented in the study group. The delphi survey showed positive agreement on indications for HEMS, rapidity of transport and overall satisfaction.
CONCLUSION
A pilot trial of physician-staffed HEMS for mountain rescue showed rapid response and more aggressive performance of emergency procedures with high satisfaction among the attending physicians.

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