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Duration of mission time in prehospital emergency medicine: effects of emergency severity and physicians level of education
  1. Martin Schuster1,
  2. Matthias Pints2,
  3. Marko Fiege3
  1. 1Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Charité Mitte and Campus Virchow Klinikum, Berlin, Germany
  2. 2Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany
  3. 3Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Klinikum Itzehoe, Itzehoe, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Martin Schuster, Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Charité Mitte and Campus Virchow Klinikum, Charitéplatz 1, Berlin 10117, Germany; martin.schuster{at}


Background Prehospital emergency care is provided in many European countries by specialised emergency physicians. However, little is known about the impact of experience and educational level of emergency physicians on providing prehospital care.

Methods During a 6-month period all deployments of an emergency physician-staffed ambulance in a metropolitan area were studied according to possible predictors of prehospital mission times.

Results In the univariate comparison the junior emergency physicians had 6.3-minute longer prehospital mission times than senior emergency physicians. This difference was evident in several National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) score subgroups. However, in multivariate analysis, patient conditions, like NACA score, Glascow coma scale or prehospital diagnosis had by far the more significant impact on mission times.

Conclusion The effect of education on treatment process and outcome in prehospital emergency care should merit further research, especially to ensure that junior emergency physicians are properly trained before they work in prehospital emergency medicine.

  • Clinical assessment
  • education
  • emergency care system
  • emergency medicine services
  • prehospital care
  • treatment times

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  • The study was performed at the fire and emergency station ‘Rotherbaum’ where the emergency physician staffed ambulance NEF 13 is stationed. All authors have served as physicians on the NEF 13 in the past, and have also been staff members of the Department of Anaesthesiology, University Hospital Hamburg—Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany during the study period.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Ethics Committee of the Hamburg Chamber of Physicians.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.