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HELICOPTERS IN PREHOSPITAL CARE; ONLY IF MORE THAN 45 MINUTES BY ROAD?
Helicopter emergency ambulance services have generated a great deal of controversy in the UK. Much of this has been fuelled by the reports from the Medical Care Research Unit at the University of Sheffield. Their final report to the Department of Health on the costs and benefits of helicopter emergency ambulance services in the UK makes interesting reading and is available on the web (http://www.shef.ac.uk/uni/academic/R-Z/scharr/mcru/reports.htm). Recognising the role of helicopters in prehospital care, John Black and colleagues have produced an algorithm to help decide when (and more importantly, when not) to consider primary helicopter retrieval from the scene. A land transfer threshold of 45 minutes may seem a long time but it takes into account the delays incurred at landing sites that are more than just a quick trolley push from the resuscitation room. There is now a need to validate this algorithm in clinical practice. See page 355
BYSTANDER, PARAMEDIC, NURSE, DOCTOR, OR EMERGENCY CARE PRACTITIONER?
As Tim Kilner points out, many of the desirable attributes …
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