Objective: To determine whether prehospital critical care teams (CCT) would result in improved functional outcomes for road trauma related severe head injury in the Australian setting, when compared with standard advanced life support measures provided by paramedics.
Methods: Retrospective review of 250 patients treated by paramedics and 46 patients treated by CCT transported directly from the accident scene, with a prehospital Glasgow coma scale (GCS)< or =8.
Results: CCT-treated patients had longer median prehospital times (113 versus 45 min, P<0.001), and a higher prehospital intubation rate (100% versus 36%, P<0.001) than paramedic-treated patients. On multivariate analysis, revised trauma score > or =4.45 (odds ratio [OR] 2.31, 95% CI: 1.15-4.65), lower injury severity score (OR 1.04, 95% CI: 1.02-1.06), age< or =25 years (OR 1.76, 95% CI: 1.13-2.75), absence of an acute subdural haematoma (OR 3.36, 95% CI: 1.89-5.95) and prehospital treatment by a CCT (OR 2.70, 95% CI: 1.48-4.95) independently predicted better outcome.
Conclusion: The range of advanced interventions provided by the CCT were associated with improved functional outcome. Further studies are required to determine the individual factors responsible.