To evaluate the accessibility and distribution of the Norwegian National Air Emergency Service in the 10-year period from 1988 to 1998.
The primary material was annual standardized activity data that included all helicopter missions. A multivariate model of determinants for use of the helicopter service was computed by linear regression. Accessibility was measured as the percentage of the population reached in different flying times, and we evaluated the service using a simulation of alternative locations for the helicopter bases.
The helicopter service (HEMS) has short access times, with a mean reaction time of 8 minutes and a mean response time of 26 minutes for acute missions. Nearly all patients (98%) are reached within 1 hour. A simulation that tested alternative locations of the helicopter bases compared with current locations showed no increase in accessibility. The use of the service shows large regional differences. Multivariate analyses showed that the distances of the patients from the nearest helicopter base and the nearest hospital are significant determinants for the use of HEMS.
Establishment of a national service has given the Norwegian population better access to highly qualified prehospital emergency services. Furthermore, the HEMS has a compensating effect in adjusting for differences in traveling distances to a hospital. Safety, cost-containment, and gatekeeper functions remain challenges.
Occluded coronary arteries should be opened urgently in patients who have acute myocardial infarction and ST-elevation in ECG. When transport times are long, thrombolytic treatment is a good alternative to primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The purpose of this study was to assess choice of treatment strategy in cases where time after start of symptoms and transport time are decisive for the outcome.
A cohort study of 379 patients, who had myocardial infarction and ST-elevation, and were admitted to St. Olav's Hospital, Trondheim, Norway in the period 1.11.2007-31.1.2009.
268 patients (71 %) were treated with PCI, and 111 patients (29 %) with thrombolytic treatment. 173 patients (46 %) were transported by helicopter. The counties in Mid-Norway used markedly different treatment strategies for these patients.
Great regional differences were observed in the use of PCI and thrombolytic treatment in Mid-Norway.
BACKGROUND: No guidelines exist for the planning of aeromedical repatriation after acute myocardial infarction (AMI). In 2004, we employed a risk evaluation-based decision-making system for repatriation of patients after AMI. The objective was to evaluate the safety of transports during 2005 managed by this system. METHODS: A total of 116 patients were transported according to the algorithm, 64 unescorted and 52 escorted. The decision-making system was based on the recommendations given by the European Society of Cardiology. Whenever possible, patients were evaluated by coronary angiogram or exercise electrocardiogram. Patients at high risk were treated locally if appropriate facilities were available or evacuated to the nearest heart center. Patients at low risk were allowed to fly unescorted home if no other concomitant diseases needed the attention of a physician. The composite end point of death of any cause during transport or departure from the planned repatriation due to worsening of the condition was registered. RESULTS: No patients reached the end point. Patients who were not risk evaluated more often needed escort (p
Flight nurses in the Norwegian National Air Ambulance Service are specialist nurse anesthetists or intensive care nursing specialists. For air ambulance bases far from hospitals, these nurses present otherwise unavailable competencies. This study reports a 6-year experience with flight nurse participation in local emergencies beyond the transportation phase.
The fixed-wing air ambulance base in Alta, Northern Norway (20,000 inhabitants), with 2 aircraft and 2 on-call teams is 150 km by road from the nearest hospital. We did a prospective registration of all emergency nonflight missions near the air ambulance base from January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2010.
The 217 completed missions corresponded to 3 missions per month, half during daytime. Twenty-three percent of patients were under age 18, injury rate was high (36%), 63% had potentially or manifest life-threatening conditions, and 11% died during treatment. One third of all missions (67/217) resulted in an air ambulance flight to the hospital.
Mission frequency did not significantly reduce flight availability, and precision in case selection for this special service was good. The use of flight nurses in the local community promotes equal access to advanced medical services for populations far from hospitals.
BACKGROUND: Air ambulance services in the Arctic have to deal with remote locations, long distances, rough weather conditions and seasonable darkness. Despite these challenges, the people living in the area expect a high quality of specialist health care. AIMS: The objective of this study was to analyse the air ambulance operations performed in the Norwegian Arctic and study variations in diagnoses and flight patterns around the year. METHODS: A retrospective analysis. All air ambulance operations performed during the time 1999 - 2009 period were analysed. The subjects were patients transported and flights performed. The primary outcome measures were patients' diagnoses and task patterns around the year. RESULTS: A total of 345 patients were transported and 321 flights performed. Coronary heart and vascular disease, bone fractures and infections were the most common diagnoses. Most patients (85%) had NACA score 3 or 4. Half of all fractures occurred in April and August. Most patients were males (66%), and one fourth was not Norwegian. The median flying time (one way) was 3 h 33 m. Ten percent of the flights were delayed, and only 14% were performed between midnight and 8.00 AM. The period April to August was the busiest one (58% of operations). CONCLUSIONS: Norway has run a safe air ambulance service in the Arctic for the last 11 years. In the future more shipping and polar adventure operations may influence the need for air ambulances, especially during summer and autumn.
OBJECTIVES: To determine overtriage rates (where air ambulance transport could have been avoided without compromising patient care) by reviewing the records of air ambulance transports from isolated coastal communities to the small rural hospital in Port McNeill, British Columbia, a remote coastal community on Vancouver Island. The category of patient being transported to this hospital by the air ambulance service was also examined.DESIGN: A 1-year chart review from Apr. 1, 1996, to Mar. 31, 1997.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Demographics of the study group, site of origin of each air ambulance transfer, whether the liaison was a community health representative (CHR) or a registered nurse, and the final diagnosis by the receiving physician were all determined. In addition, subsequent management and patient outcome were also noted. After reviewing all of this information, a subjective decision was made as to whether the air ambulance transport was necessary or not.RESULTS: Forty-eight separate air ambulance transfers were carried out, all by helicopter, transporting a total of 51 patients (43 adults, 8 children). Forty-eight percent of evacuations originated from 2 communities off Vancouver Island. The overtriage rate was calculated at 22%. The area of minor trauma was particularly prone to overuse of the air ambulance.CONCLUSIONS: Just over 20% of emergency air ambulance transfers to Port McNeill Hospital probably were not necessary. This overtriage rate is consistent with that reported for air ambulance transports that take place between primary care hospitals and secondary or tertiary care hospitals.
Provincial air ambulance transports of injured patients were quality reviewed prospectively to determine utilization and appropriateness of care.
All trauma air ambulance transports over a 2-month span were reviewed prospectively. Revised Trauma Score, Injury Severity Score, probability of survival, prehospital time, distance of transport, procedures performed, and outcome were determined. Quality control questions were asked of the sending and receiving physicians.
The majority of air ambulance transports reviewed (N = 97) were indicated for mechanism and severity of injury. Economics and requirement for advanced medical care were indications in only 15%. Physicians tended to perform more advanced procedures, likely related to higher patient Injury Severity Score (23 vs. 15, p = NS). Four problems with air ambulance access were identified. The overtriage rate was 5%. Inappropriate patient care was documented in six (6%) cases; a physician was present for only one of these.
A low overtriage rate was documented, raising concerns that the undertriage rate may be too high. Injured patients air transported without physician accompaniment more often received inappropriate care, suggesting that physician accompaniment is beneficial.
To review and characterize 4 years of experience with suggested nontraumatic aortic emergencies (dissections/ruptures) transported by a new, provincially dedicated rotor-wing air medical program
Retrospective 4-year review of air medical program's mission records and review of related hospital records. Patients listed as suspected aortic emergencies (nontraumatic) in the air medical records were included. Mission records were reviewed for EMS diagnosis, blood pressures before and after transport, transport times, and mortality. Hospital records were reviewed for diagnosis, interventions/treatment, and mortality. Blood pressures below 80 mmHg systolic were considered hemodynamically unstable.
A cohort of 34 patients were identified, of whom 31 (91%) arrived at the hospital alive. Twenty-five patients (74%) arrived hemodynamically stable, with a mean out-of-hospital time of 60 minutes, and nine patients (26%) were hemodynamically unstable (mean out-of-hospital time was 54 minutes). No significant difference arose in times between these two groups (P = 0.16). Overall mortality was 53% (18). Differences in transport time between survivors and deaths was not statistically significant (P = 0.93). The diagnoses on admission to hospital: 14 (41%) were RAAA, five (15%) AAA no rupture, eight (24%) aortic dissections, and four (12%) had no aortic pathology. Seventeen patients (50%) received emergent surgical intervention. The EMS diagnosis was correct in 76% of cases.
Our program transported 34 suspected aortic emergencies of which 17 were immediate surgical candidates on arrival. Aortic emergencies are not infrequent within our program. Specific policies and procedures based on continuing quality review should be in place to optimize the transport and care of these patients.