Can video streaming improve first aid for injured patients? A prospective observational study from Norway

BMC Emerg Med. 2024 May 28;24(1):89. doi: 10.1186/s12873-024-01010-0.


Background: Video streaming in emergency medical communication centers (EMCC) from caller to medical dispatcher has recently been introduced in some countries. Death by trauma is a leading cause of death and injuries are a frequent reason to contact EMCC. We aimed to investigate if video streaming is associated with recognition of a need for first aid during calls regarding injured patients and improve quality of bystander first aid.

Methods: A prospective observational study including patients from three health regions in Norway, from November 2021 to February 2023 (registered in clinical trials 10/25/2021, NCT05121649). Cases where video streaming had been used as a supplement during the medical emergency call were compared to cases where video streaming was not used during the call. Patients were included by ambulance personnel on the scene of accident if they met the following criteria: 1. Ambulance personnel arrived at a patient who had an injury, 2. One or more bystanders had been present before their arrival, 3. One or more of the following first aid measures had been performed by bystander or should have been performed: airway management, control of external bleeding, recovery position, and hypothermia prevention. Ambulance personnel assessed quality of first aid performed by bystander, and information concerning use of video streaming and patient need for first aid measures recognized by dispatcher was collected through EMCC audio logs and patient charts. We present descriptive data and results from a logistic regression analysis.

Results: Data was collected on 113 cases, and dispatchers used video streaming in addition to standard telephone communication in 12/113 (10%) of the cases. The odds for the dispatcher to recognize a need for first aid during a medical emergency call were more than five times higher when video streaming was used compared to no use of video streaming (OR 5.30, 95% CI 1.11-25.44). Overall quality of bystander first aid was rated as "high". The odds ratio for the patient receiving first aid of higher quality were 1.82 (p-value 0.46) when video streaming was used by dispatcher during the call.

Conclusion: Our findings show that video streaming is not frequently used by dispatchers in calls regarding patients with injuries, but that video streaming is associated with improved recognition of patients' first aid needs. We found no statistically significant difference in first aid quality comparing the calls where video streaming as a supplement were used with the calls with audio only.

Keywords: EMCC; First aid; Injury; Video streaming.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Emergency Medical Service Communication Systems
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Female
  • First Aid* / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Prospective Studies
  • Video Recording
  • Wounds and Injuries* / therapy
  • Young Adult