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An Emergency Medical Service (EMS) is defined as a complete system that responds to public medical and surgical emergencies with prompt and adequate emergency care. Ambulance services are also classified as EMS in modern medical history. In the Nepalese context, prehospital care is very limited, and the EMS system is still a new concept in Nepal. In a study in the emergency room at Patan Hospital in Kathmandu, only 9.9% of patients came by ambulance, 53.6% by taxi, 11.4% by private car, 13.5% by bus, 5.4% by bicycle, and another 6.2% came with alternative routes.
This study aims to investigate the constraints, challenges, and achievements made by ambulances services during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The study design was phenomenological and the method was qualitative. In-depth interviews (IDIs) were conducted with six human resources working from the COVID-19 first wave pandemic in the ambulance service of Nepal Ambulance Service (NAS), Kathmandu.
Four themes were generated from IDIs: (1) challenges in service delivery; (2) constraints on service delivery; (3) working experiences; and (4) achievements of ambulatory service providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under these four themes, 12 sub-themes were constructed. The new nature of disease (COVID-19) in the first wave led to fear and anxiety, which also forced them to think about quitting the job; however, later on with proper training and safety measures, it led to working for COVID-19 patient transfers from home to hospital, as well as hospital to hospital, and proper prehospital care services were provided. The major challenges faced by ambulatory service providers were long working hours, wearing a single personal protective equipment (PPE) for long hours, confusing locations to pick up patients, and both stigma and discrimination.
From IDIs, it was concluded that although constraints and challenges arise during a pandemic, from proper guidance and support through NAS, they are able to provide proper prehospital care for the patient. Challenges like fear, heavy workload, PPE, and other material barriers do not hamper in service delivery.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had detrimental impacts across multiple sectors of the Mexican health care system. The prehospital care system, however, remains largely under-studied. The first objective of this study was to calculate the monthly per capita rates of injury-related 9-1-1 calls, traffic accidents, and crime at the state-level (Mexico City) during the early pandemic period (January 1 through June 30, 2020), while the second objective was to conduct these calculations at the borough-level for the same outcomes and time period. The third objective was to compare monthly per capita rates of injury-related 9-1-1 calls, traffic accidents, and crime at the state-level (Mexico City) during the pre-pandemic (January 1 through June 30, 2019), early pandemic (January 1 through June 30, 2020), and later pandemic periods (January 1 through June 30, 2021).
A retrospective analysis was conducted to examine injury-related 9-1-1 calls, traffic accidents, and crime at the state-level (Mexico City) and borough-levels. Monthly per capita rates were calculated using four datasets, including Mexico City’s Public Release 9-1-1 Emergency Calls, National Institute of Statistics and Geography’s (INEGI) Traffic Accidents Micro-Dataset, Mexico City’s Attorney General’s Office Crime Dataset, and Projections of the Population of the Municipalities of Mexico, 2015 to 2030. All statistical analyses were conducted using STATA 17.0.
During the early pandemic period, injury-related 9-1-1 emergency calls, traffic accidents, and crime experienced similar trends in monthly per capita rates at the state-level and borough-levels. While the monthly per capita rates remained constant from January to March 2020, starting in March, there was a precipitous decrease across all three outcomes, although decline rates varied across boroughs. The monthly per capita rates across the three outcomes were higher during the pre-pandemic period compared to the early pandemic period. As the COVID-19 pandemic progressed, the monthly per capita rates during the later pandemic period increased across the three outcomes compared to the early pandemic period, although they did not reach pre-pandemic levels during the study period.
The precipitous decline in injury-related 9-1-1 calls, traffic accidents, and crime in Mexico City occurred at the same time as the issuance of the first wave of public health orders in March 2020. The largest decrease across the three outcomes occurred one to two months post-issuance of the orders.
Major incidents (MIs) put great demands on the medical response to effectively organize and redistribute resources and personnel, in prehospital care as well as hospital care, and coordinating functions. Studies indicate that regular training and well-established contingency plans are vital for the medical response to MIs. Previous assessments have concluded that Swedish disaster preparedness requires improved organization and coordination. There is currently no method to easily follow-up the preparedness work of the prehospital medical response organizations for MIs in Sweden.
The aim of the study was to assess qualifications and training requirements for central individual roles, to examine frequency and focus of training and simulation, as well as to examine current regional routines for MIs in Sweden. The aim was also to identify, to evaluate, and to investigate areas for improvement in prehospital health care preparedness for MIs in Sweden.
Descriptive comparative study of Sweden’s prehospital organization, planning, education, and training for MIs through a web-based survey sent to all 21 regions in Sweden. The survey included 64 questions and was based on national legislation and guidelines for preparedness and previous investigations of real MIs.
A total of 37 answers to the survey were collected representing 17/21 regions (80.9%) from which Regional Management Individuals (RMIs) were selected from 15 regions and used as representative primary responses. The initial routines regarding alarm and establishment of management functions were mainly in-line with national guidelines. Staffing and qualification requirements for certain leadership roles differed substantially between regions. The requirements for the health care staff’s knowledge of the contingency plan were generally low and routines for follow-up were often lacking. The frequency of exercises in certain areas were deficient.
The results of the study showed several potential areas for improvement within the prehospital emergency medical preparedness for MIs in Sweden. Methodology and adherence of national guidelines for medical response preparedness differ between regions in Sweden, which motivates recurring assessments. It is possible to use a well-prepared questionnaire study to follow-up and to examine parts of the regional prehospital preparedness work and organization for MIs.
In Australia, aeromedical retrieval provides a vital link for rural communities with limited health services to definitive care in urban centers. Yet, there are few studies of aeromedical patient experiences and outcomes, or clear measures of the service quality provided to these patients.
This study explores whether a previously developed quality framework could usefully be applied to existing air ambulance patient journeys (ie, the sequences of care that span multiple settings; prehospital and hospital-based pre-flight, flight transport, after-flight hospital in-patient, and disposition). The study aimed to use linked data from aeromedical, emergency department (ED), and hospital sources, and from death registries, to document and analyze patient journeys.
A previously developed air ambulance quality framework was used to place patient, prehospital, and in-hospital service outcomes in relevant quality domains identified from the Institutes of Medicine (IOM) and Dr. Donabedian models. To understand the aeromedical patients’ journeys, data from all relevant data sources were linked by unique patient identifiers and the outcomes of the resulting analyses were applied to the air ambulance quality framework.
Overall, air ambulance referral pathways could be classified into three categories: Intraregional (those retrievals which stayed within the region), Out of Region, and Into Region. Patient journeys and service outcomes varied markedly between referral pathways. Prehospital and in-hospital service variables and patient outcomes showed that the framework could be used to explore air ambulance service quality.
The air ambulance quality framework can usefully be applied to air ambulance patient experiences and outcomes using linked data analysis. The framework can help guide prehospital and in-hospital performance reporting. With variations between regional referral pathways, this knowledge will aid with planning within the local service. The study successfully linked data from aeromedical, ED, in-hospital, and death sources and explored the aeromedical patients’ journeys.