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Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in Mexico, but many survival and prognostic factors are unknown. The aim of this study was to assess out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in a Mexican city.
This was a prospective, cohort study that evaluated the records of the major ambulance services in the city of Queretaro, Mexico. Means, standard deviation, and percentages for the categorical variables were obtained. Logistic regression was performed to determine the effects between interventions, times, and return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC).
For an 11-month period, 148 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest cases were recorded. The mean age of the victims was 54 ±22.6 years and 90 (65.3%) were males. Forty-nine cases were related to cardiac disease, 46 to other disease, 27 to trauma, 18 to terminal illnesses, and three to drowning. Twelve (8.6%) patients had a pulse upon hospital arrival, but none survived to discharge. No victims were defibrillated prior to ambulance arrival. The collapse-assessment interval was 22.5 ±19:1 minutes, the mean value for the ambulance response times was 13:6 ±10:4 minutes. Basic emergency medical technicians applied chest compressions to 40 victims (27.2%), controlled the airway in 32 (21.8%), and defibrillated seven (4.8%). Chest compressions and airway control showed an OR of 8 and 12 respectively for ROSC.
The poor survival rate in this study emphasizes the need to improve efforts in provider training and public education. Authorities must promote actions to enhance prehospital emergency services capabilities, shorten response times, and provide community education to increase the chances of survival for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims in Mexico.
Mexico City has one of the highest mortality rates in Mexico, with non-intentional injuries as a leading cause of death among persons 1–44 years of age. Emergency medical services (EMS) in Mexico can achieve high levels of efficiency by offering high quality medical care at a low cost through adequate system design.
The objective of this study was to determine whether the prehospital EMS system in Mexico City meets the criteria standards established by the American Ambulance Association Guide for Contracting Emergency Medical Services (AAA Guide) for highly efficient EMS systems.
This retrospective, descriptive study, evaluated the structure of Mexico City's EMS system and analyzed EMS response times, clinical capacity, economic efficiency, and customer satisfaction. These results were compared with the AAA guide, according to the social, economic, and political context in Mexico. This paper describes the healthcare system structure in Mexico, followed by a description of the basic structure of EMS in Mexico City, and of each tenet described in the AAA guide. The paper includes data obtained from official documents and databases of government agencies, and operative and administrative data from public and private EMS providers.
The quality of the data for response times (RT) were insufficient and widely varied among providers, with a minimum RT of 6.79 minutes (min) and a maximum RT of 61 min. Providers did not define RT clearly, and measured it with averages, which can hide potentially poor performance practices. Training institutions are not required to follow a standardized curriculum. Certifications are the responsibility of the individual training centers and have no government regulation. There was no evidence of active medical control involvement in direct patient care, and providers did not report that quality assurance programs were in place. There also are limited career advancement opportunities for EMS personnel. Small economies of scale may not allow providers to be economically efficient, unit hours are difficult to calculate, and few economic data are available.There is no evidence of customer satisfaction data.
Emergency medical services in Mexico City did not meet the AAA requirements for high-quality, prehospital, emergency care. Coordination among EMS providers is difficult to achieve, due, in part, to the lack of: (1) an authoritative structure; (2) sound system design; and (3) appropriate legislation. The government, EMS providers, stakeholders, and community members should work together to build a high quality EMS system at the lowest possible cost.
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