An evaluation of paramedic activities in prehospital trauma care

Injury. 1997 Nov-Dec;28(9-10):623-7. doi: 10.1016/s0020-1383(97)00125-3.


The object of the study was to identify the effect paramedics have on prehospital trauma care and evaluate their influence on outcome compared to that of ambulance technicians. A prospective review of ambulance and hospital records was conducted over 2 years from 1 August 1993 to 31 July 1995. The setting for the study was the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and its primary response catchment area served by the South-East Region of the Scottish Ambulance Service central control room. The study involved 1090 patients brought to hospital by ambulance who met the entry criteria for the Scottish Trauma Audit Group study. The results show that paramedics spend significantly longer at scene than the ambulance technicians; however, there was no difference in total prehospital times between the groups. Paramedics direct a significantly higher proportion of patients to the resuscitation room and significantly more of these patients go to theatre, intensive care or the mortuary. There is no reduction in mortality or length of stay in intensive care in the paramedic group. The authors conclude that paramedics deliver an improved process of care but their activities do not significantly reduce mortality or length of stay in intensive care.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Critical Care
  • Emergency Medical Services / methods
  • Emergency Medical Services / standards*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Admission
  • Prospective Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triage
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*