Background: The helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) has been working in Iran since 2000. The present study is the first prospective research to determine the epidemiological characteristics of injured patients transported by helicopter in Tehran.
Methods: All injured patients brought to three hospitals from the injury scene by HEMS were reviewed in a 4-month period.
Results: The mean transport time was 54 minutes. The most common mechanism of trauma was road traffic accidents (96.2%). The mean injury severity score was 8.6 (SD 8.6) and 9.6% of patients were sent to the intensive care unit; 10.2% of patients died.
Conclusion: This study shows that overtriage in HEMS (transportation of patients without severe injuries) and the long transportation time is mainly a result of not having a trauma system. The study has shown HEMS to be an effective and feasible option in countries with heavy traffic and no trauma system.
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Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: Ethics approval was obtained from ethical board committee of Tehran University of Medical Sciences.
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