As part of the community planning of prehospital treatment in Northern Jutland, a mixed rural and urban region with a population of 500,000 people, we estimated the prehospital treatment in connection with 1617 emergency ambulance services. The investigation included data collected by the ambulance staff, the hospital doctors and review of medical records. The frequency of use of the emergency ambulance per 1000 population was 41 annually, and rapid emergency transport using signals constitutes 65% of call-outs. In the rural region the time from ambulance call until the ambulance reached the patients was longer than in the urban region. The ambulance staff as well as the doctor at the hospital considered a minor number of the patients as seriously ill. In 60% of the emergency ambulance transports the ambulance staff performed therapeutic efforts, frequently oxygen treatment (34%). In 305 transports the staff would have liked to carry out other forms of prehospital service, most often electrocardiographic-monitoring and treatment of pain. Only a few patients had need of advanced prehospital services but political consideration should be given to the possibility of advanced prehospital service in both rural and urban regions.
Comment In: Ugeskr Laeger. 1997 Oct 13;159(42):6235-79381599