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Post-war development of emergency medicine in Kosovo
  1. K P O’Hanlon,
  2. E B Lerner*
  1. Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 K P O’Hanlon
 Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 655, Rochester, NY 14642, USA; katherine_ohanlon{at}


Objectives: To (1) investigate emergency medical care priorities in Kosovo, (2) assess Kosovo’s post-war development of emergency medical services and (3) identify expectations.

Methods: An instrument with seven open-ended questions, approved by the institutional review board, was designed for in-person interviews (preferred) or written survey. The survey was administered in October 2003 at the Kosovo University Clinical Center, Pristina, Kosovo, and one regional hospital. Targeted participants were emergency care providers, clinical consultants and health policy consultants. Surveys were conducted by interview with simultaneous interpretation by a native Albanian speaker, an orthopaedic surgeon or in written Albanian form. The responses were evaluated quantitatively and qualitatively.

Results: 13 respondents participated in the study: 10 gave interviews and 3 provided written response; 7 were emergency care providers, 4 were emergency care consultants and 2 were health policy consultants. Emergency care priorities were defined as trauma, cardiac disease and suicide. Most respondents believed that emergency medicine as a specialised field was a post-war development. The international community was credited with the provision of infrastructure, supplies and training. Most respondents denied any harm from international assistance. However, some respondents described instances of inappropriate international investment. Ongoing needs are training of providers and equipping of facilities and vehicles. Improved hospital management, political administration and international involvement are thought to be necessary for continued development.

Conclusions: Survey respondents agreed on priorities in emergency care, credited the international community with development to date, and identified administrative structures and international training support as the keys to ongoing development.

  • NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • WHO, World Health Organization

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  • * EBL is currently at the Department of Emergency Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

  • Funding: This study was financially supported by the Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA.

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Part of this study was presented as a poster at the National Association of Emergency Medical Services Physicians, Annual Meeting 2005, Naples, Florida, USA, January 2005.

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