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עמוד בית
Sun, 23.06.24

Original Articles

IMAJ | volume 8

Journal 1, January 2006
pages: 8-11

Effectiveness of a “Doctor-Helicopter” System in Japan


    Background: In Japan, helicopters have rarely been used for emergency medical services. The use of helicopters not only ensures rapid evacuation but may also serve to provide emergency management to patients with life-threatening injuries in the prehospital setting.

    Objectives: To evaluate a Japanese helicopter-based emergency medical system including an onboard physician, particularly in terms of probability of survival.

    Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of trauma victims, and calculated two estimates of PS[1] – at the scene and on arrival at the emergency department – based on patient age, Injury Severity Score, and Revised Trauma Score.

    Results: We identified trauma victims who had an ISS[2] above 15 and were transported from the scene by helicopter. Excluding cardiopulmonary arrest at the scene, 151 cases were studied. Thirty-two patients had hemodynamic instability with systolic blood pressures below 90 mmHg, caused by hemorrhagic shock (29 cases) or obstructive shock (3 cases). Their PS values were 0.56 ± 0.38 in the prehospital setting and 0.65 ± 0.38 on arrival at the ED[3], representing a significant difference (P = 0.0003). Twenty-four of these patients survived, reflecting successful resuscitation during prehospital and ED management.

    Conclusions: A doctor-helicopter system was shown to improve probability of survival for life-threatening trauma in the Japanese emergency medical system.

    [1] PS = probability of survival
    [2] ISS = Injury Severity Score
    [3] ED = Emergency Department

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