Outcome following physician supervised prehospital resuscitation: a retrospective study

Søren Mikkelsen, Andreas J Krüger, Stine T Zwisler, Anne C Brøchner

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BACKGROUND: Prehospital care provided by specially trained, physician-based emergency services (P-EMS) is an integrated part of the emergency medical systems in many developed countries. To what extent P-EMS increases survival and favourable outcomes is still unclear. The aim of the study was thus to investigate ambulance runs initially assigned 'life-saving missions' with emphasis on long-term outcome in patients treated by the Mobile Emergency Care Unit (MECU) in Odense, Denmark

METHODS: All MECU runs are registered in a database by the attending physician, stating, among other parameters, the treatment given, outcome of the treatment and the patient's diagnosis. Over a period of 80 months from May 1 2006 to December 31 2012, all missions in which the outcome of the treatment was registered as 'life saving' were scrutinised. Initial outcome, level of competence of the caretaker and diagnosis of each patient were manually established in each case in a combined audit of the prehospital database, the discharge summary of the MECU and the medical records from the hospital. Outcome parameters were final outcome, the aetiology of the life-threatening condition and the level of competences necessary to treat the patient.

RESULTS: Of 25 647 patients treated by the MECU, 701 (2.7%) received prehospital 'life saving treatment'. In 596 (2.3%) patients this treatment exceeded the competences of the attending emergency medical technician or paramedic. Of these patients, 225 (0.9%) were ultimately discharged to their own home.

CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrates that anaesthesiologist administrated prehospital therapy increases the level of treatment modalities leading to an increased survival in relation to a prehospital system consisting of emergency medical technicians and paramedics alone and thus supports the concept of applying specialists in anaesthesiology in the prehospital setting especially when treating patients with cardiac arrest, patients in need of respiratory support and trauma patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere006167
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number1
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1. Jan 2015


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