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Commentary from the RCA
  1. Royal College of Anaesthetists

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    Timely pre-hospital interventions by doctors, which cannot be undertaken by paramedics, may improve the outcome for some patients; however, we should recognise that this assertion lacks robust scientific evidence. In comparison with several other European countries, the involvement of doctors in pre-hospital care in the UK is variable; in some regions, pre-hospital involvement is negligible. In many areas, the response to ambulance personnel requesting medical assistance at the scene of a motor vehicle crash, for example, comprises a mobile medical team dispatched from the nearest hospital. The doctor on this team may be a trainee in emergency medicine or anaesthesia who has received little or no training in pre-hospital care.

    Doctors who commit to providing pre-hospital care should be trained appropriately. In line with …

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    • Competing interests: none declared