OBJECTIVE: To assess whether length of time on-scene in patients with major injury was associated with severity of injury or with abnormal on-scene physiology. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of a convenience sample of patients in whom prehospital on-scene times were entered onto the regional major trauma database. On-scene times of patients were analysed to assess whether ultimate injury severity score or on scene physiology measurements affected times. This was undertaken by examining subgroups of patients with similar injury severity or physiological measurements by Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney testing and comparing 95% confidence intervals of the mean on-scene times. RESULTS: The mean on-scene time for 111 non-entrapped patients was 26 minutes (95% confidence interval 23.5 to 28.6). Patients with injury severity score of > 15, with a Glasgow coma scale of < 13, and with an abnormal pulse spent significantly less time on-scene than less severely injured or physiologically deranged patients. CONCLUSIONS: Paramedics have the ability to recognise patients with severe injury and reduce on-scene times. On-scene times were consistently long throughout all subgroups of major trauma patients.
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