helicopter emergency medical service
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J. Jeyanathan ◽  
D. Bootland ◽  
A. Al-Rais ◽  
J. Leung ◽  
J. Wijesuriya ◽  

Abstract Background The COVID-19 pandemic has placed exceptional demand on Intensive Care Units, necessitating the critical care transfer of patients on a regional and national scale. Performing these transfers required specialist expertise and involved moving patients over significant distances. Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex created a designated critical care transfer team and was one of the first civilian air ambulances in the United Kingdom to move ventilated COVID-19 patients by air. We describe the practical set up of such a service and the key lessons learned from the first 50 transfers. Methods Retrospective review of air critical care transfer service set up and case review of first 50 transfers. Results We describe key elements of the critical care transfer service, including coordination and activation; case interrogation; workforce; training; equipment; aircraft modifications; human factors and clinical governance. A total of 50 missions are described between 18 December 2020 and 1 February 2021. 94% of the transfer missions were conducted by road. The mean age of these patients was 58 years (29–83). 30 (60%) were male and 20 (40%) were female. The mean total mission cycle (time of referral until the time team declared free at receiving hospital) was 264 min (range 149–440 min). The mean time spent at the referring hospital prior to leaving for the receiving unit was 72 min (31–158). The mean transfer transit time between referring and receiving units was 72 min (9–182). Conclusion Critically ill COVID-19 patients have highly complex medical needs during transport. Critical care transfer of COVID-19-positive patients by civilian HEMS services, including air transfer, can be achieved safely with specific planning, protocols and precautions. Regional planning of COVID-19 critical care transfers is required to optimise the time available of critical care transfer teams.

Lorenz Meuli ◽  
Alexander Zimmermann ◽  
Anna-Leonie Menges ◽  
Mario Tissi ◽  
Stefan Becker ◽  

Abstract Background The goal of improving quality through centralisation of specialised medical services must be balanced against potential harm caused by delayed access to emergency treatments in rural areas. This study aims to assess the duration of transfers of critically ill patients with cardiovascular emergencies from smaller hospitals to major medical centres by a helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) in Switzerland. Methods This retrospective observational cohort study includes all consecutive emergency interfacility transfers (IFTs) conducted by Switzerland’s largest HEMS provider between July 3rd, 2019, and March 31st, 2021. All patients with acute myocardial infarction, non-traumatic strokes, ruptured aortic aneurysms, and other acute vascular emergencies were included. The duration and distance of each HEMS IFT were compared to calculated distances and duration of travel for the same missions using ground-based transportation (GEMS). The ground-based mission distance beyond which the total mission duration of HEMS is expected to be faster than GEMS was calculated. Findings A total of 645 patients were transferred for stroke (n = 364), myocardial infarction (n = 252) and other acute vascular emergencies (n = 29). The median total mission duration from emergency call to landing at the destination was 59.9 (IQR 51.5 to 70.5) minutes. The median road distance for the same missions was 60 (IQR 43 to 72) km. Regression analysis revealed that HEMS is expected to be faster if the road distance is more than 51.3 km. Interpretation Centralisation of specialised medical services should be accompanied by a comprehensive and specialised rescue chain. HEMS in Switzerland ensures time-sensitive IFT in medical emergencies, even in topographically challenging terrain. Graphical Abstract

BMJ Open ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (12) ◽  
pp. e056487
Ewoud ter Avest ◽  
Dassen Ragavan ◽  
Joanne Griggs ◽  
Michael Dias ◽  
Sophie A Mitchinson ◽  

ObjectivesPrehospital rapid sequence induction (RSI) of anaesthesia is an intervention with significant associated risk. In this study, we aimed to investigate the haemodynamic response over time of a prehospital RSI protocol of fentanyl, ketamine and rocuronium in a heterogeneous population of trauma patients.Design, setting and participantWe performed a retrospective study of all trauma patients who received a prehospital RSI for trauma by a physician staffed Helicopter Emergency Medical Service in the UK between 1 June 2018 and 1 February 2020.Primary outcome measurePrimary outcome was defined as the incidence of clinically relevant hypotensive (systolic blood pressure (SBP) or mean arterial pressure (MAP) >20% below baseline, with an absolute SBP <90 mm Hg or MAP <65 mm Hg) or hypertensive (SBP or MAP >20% above baseline) episodes in the first 10 minutes post-RSI.ResultsIn total, 322 patients were included. 204 patients (63%) received a full-dose induction of 3 μg/kg fentanyl, 2 mg/kg ketamine and 1 mg/kg rocuronium, whereas 128 patients (37%) received a reduced-dose induction. Blood pressures decreased on average 12 mm Hg (95% CI 7 to 16) in the full-dose group and 6 mm Hg (95% CI 1 to 11) in the reduced-dose group, p=0.10). A hypotensive episode (mean SBP drop 53 mm Hg) was noted in 29 patients: 17 (8.3%) receiving a full dose and 12 (10.2%) receiving a reduced-dose induction, p=0.69. The blood pressure nadir was recorded on average 6–8 min after RSI. A hypertensive episode was present in 22 patients (6.8%). The highest blood pressures were recorded in the first 3 min after RSI.ConclusionPrehospital induction of anaesthesia for trauma with fentanyl, ketamine and rocuronium is not related to a significant change in haemodynamics in most patients. However, a (delayed) hypotensive response with a significant drop in SBP should be anticipated in a minority of patients irrespective of the dose regimen chosen.

2021 ◽  
pp. emermed-2020-210531
Christopher King ◽  
Asher Lewinsohn ◽  
Chris Keeliher ◽  
Sarah McLachlan ◽  
James Sherrin ◽  

BackgroundHypotension following intubation and return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) after cardiac arrest is associated with poorer patient outcomes. In patients with a sustained ROSC requiring emergency anaesthesia, there is limited evidence to guide anaesthetic practice. At the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust, a UK-based helicopter emergency medical service, we assessed the relative haemodynamic stability of two different induction agents for post-cardiac arrest medical patients requiring prehospital emergency anaesthesia (PHEA).MethodsWe performed a retrospective database review over a 5-year period between December 2014 and December 2019 comparing ketamine-based and midazolam-based anaesthesia in this patient cohort. Our primary outcome was clinically significant hypotension within 30 min of PHEA, defined as a new systolic BP less than 90 mm Hg, or a 10% drop if less than 90 mm Hg before induction.ResultsOne hundred ninety-eight patients met inclusion criteria. Forty-eight patients received a ketamine-based induction, median dose (IQR) 1.00 (1.00–1.55) mg/kg, and a 150 midazolam-based regime, median dose 0.03 (0.02–0.04) mg/kg. Hypotension occurred in 54.2% of the ketamine group and 50.7% of the midazolam group (p=0.673). Mean maximal HRs within 30 min of PHEA were 119 beats/min and 122 beats/min, respectively (p=0.523). A shock index greater than 1.0 beats/min/mm Hg and age greater than 70 years were both associated with post-PHEA hypotension with ORs 1.96 (CI 1.02 to 3.71) and 1.99 (CI 1.01 to 3.90), respectively. Adverse event rates did not significantly differ between groups.ConclusionPHEA following a medical cardiac arrest is associated with potentially significant cardiovascular derangements when measured up to 30 min after induction of anaesthesia. There was no demonstrable difference in post-induction hypotension between ketamine-based and midazolam-based PHEA. Choice of induction agent alone is insufficient to mitigate haemodynamic disturbance, and alternative strategies should be used to address this.

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