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  1. Leigh Unwin,
  2. Jonathan Wyatt

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    Recent studies have focused upon enhancing the skills of paramedics in order to treat patients without the need for a hospital consultation. A prehospital pilot project based in London reports upon the introduction of a physician response unit to assist with emergency calls (

    ) . The authors conclude that the physician response unit contributed significantly to prehospital care by enhancing treatment, improving ambulance service response times and preventing unnecessary attendances at hospital.


    Latest guidance has seen additional emphasis on continuous chest compressions for patients with cardiac arrest. Performing manual chest compressions in the prehospital setting can be difficult, particularly in ambulances that are travelling at speed. Taking this into account, automated cardiac compression devices have some obvious theoretical attractions for use in the prehospital setting. However, results from a randomised trial, involving the use of a load distributing band device to deliver automated chest compression did not demonstrate improvements in return of the rates of spontaneous …

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