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Concept: Medical emergency


BACKGROUND: Medical errors frequently contribute to morbidity and mortality. Prehospital emergency medicine is prone to incidents that can lead to immediate deadly consequences. Critical incident reporting can identify typical problems and be the basis for structured risk management in order to reduce and mitigate these incidents. METHODS: We set up a free access internet website for German-speaking countries, with an anonymous reporting system for emergency medical services personnel. After a 7-year study period, an expert team analysed and classified the incidents into staff related, equipment related, organisation and tactics, or other. RESULTS: 845 reports were entered in the study period. Physicians reported 44% of incidents, paramedics 42%. Most patients were in a life-threatening or potentially life-threatening situation (82%), and only 53% of all incidents had no influence on the outcome of the patient. Staff-related problems were responsible for 56% of the incidents, when it came to harm, 78% of these incidents were staff related. CONCLUSIONS: Incident reporting in prehospital emergency medicine can identify system weaknesses. Most of the incidents were reported during care of patients in life-threatening conditions with a high impact on patient outcome. Staff-related problems contributed to the most frequent and most severe incidents.

Concepts: Medicine, Patient, Physician, Report, Emergency medical services, Paramedic, Emergency medical technician, Medical emergency


One quarter of patients suffering from acute critical illness such as severe trauma, sepsis, myocardial infarction (MI) or post cardiac arrest syndrome (PCAS) develop severe hemostatic aberrations and coagulopathy, which are associated with excess mortality. Despite the different types of injurious “hit”, acutely critically ill patients share several phenotypic features that may be driven by the shock. This response, mounted by the body to various life-threatening conditions, is relatively homogenous and most likely evolutionarily adapted. We propose that shock-induced sympatho-adrenal hyperactivation is a critical driver of endothelial cell and glycocalyx damage (endotheliopathy) in acute critical illness, with the overall aim of ensuring organ perfusion through an injured microvasculature. We have investigated more than 3000 patients suffering from different types of acute critical illness (severe trauma, sepsis, MI and PCAS) and have found a potential unifying pathologic link between sympatho-adrenal hyperactivation, endotheliopathy, and poor outcome. We entitled this proposed disease entity, shock-induced endotheliopathy (SHINE). Here we review the literature and discuss the pathophysiology of SHINE.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Heart, Cardiac arrest, Illness, Cardiac tamponade, Physical trauma, Medical emergency


Previous studies have shown wide variations in prehospital ambulance care for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and stroke. We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of implementing a Quality Improvement Collaborative (QIC) for improving ambulance care for AMI and stroke.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Stroke, Infarction, Aspirin, Emergency medical services, Emergency medical technician, Medical emergency


Hospital prealerting in acute stroke improves the timeliness of subsequent treatment, but little is known about the impact of prehospital assessments on in-hospital care.

Concepts: Medical emergency


The main objective of the Norwegian air ambulance service is to provide advanced emergency medicine to critically ill or severely injured patients. The government has defined a time frame of 45 minutes as the goal within which 90% of the population should be reached. The aims of this study were to document accurate flying times for rotor wing units to the scene and to determine the rates of acute primary missions in Norway.

Concepts: Time, Medicine, Illness, Ambulance, Emergency medical services, Paramedic, Emergency medical technician, Medical emergency


Out-of-hospital emergency care (OHEC), also known as prehospital care, has been shown to reduce morbidity and mortality from serious illness. We sought to summarize literature for low and low-middle income countries to identify barriers to and key interventions for OHEC delivery.

Concepts: Urgent care, Identification, Ambulance, Emergency medical services, Emergency medicine, Paramedic, Emergency physician, Medical emergency


Exertional heat stroke (EHS) is one of the most common causes of sudden death in athletes. It also represents a unique medical challenge to the prehospital healthcare provider due to the time sensitive nature of treatment. In cases of EHS, when cooling is delayed, there is a significant increase in organ damage, morbidity, and mortality after 30 minutes, faster than the average EMS transport and ED evaluation window. The purpose of this document is to present a paradigm for prehospital healthcare systems to minimize the risk of morbidity and mortality for EHS patients. With proper planning, EHS can be managed successfully by the prehospital healthcare provider.

Concepts: Health care, Health care provider, Medicine, Healthcare, Mortality rate, Emergency medical services, Emergency medicine, Medical emergency


Life-threatening medical emergencies are an infrequent but regular occurrence on the football field. Proper prevention strategies, emergency medical planning and timely access to emergency equipment are required to prevent catastrophic outcomes. In a continuing commitment to player safety during football, this paper presents the FIFA Medical Emergency Bag and FIFA 11 Steps to prevent sudden cardiac death. These recommendations are intended to create a global standard for emergency preparedness and the medical response to serious or catastrophic on-field injuries in football.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Sudden cardiac death, First aid, Emergency medical services, Emergency management, Association football, Emergency medicine, Medical emergency


In the West Midlands region of the UK, delivery of pre-hospital care has been remodelled through introduction of a 24 h Medical Emergency Response Incident Team (MERIT). Teams including physicians and critical care paramedics (CCP) are deployed to incidents on land-based and helicopter-based platforms. Clinical practice, including delivery of rapid sequence induction of anaesthesia (RSI), is underpinned by standard operating procedures (SOP). This study describes the first 12 months experience of prehospital RSI in the MERIT schemeĀ in the West Midlands.

Concepts: England, Emergency medical services, Emergency medicine, Paramedic, Emergency medical technician, Rapid sequence induction, Medical emergency, National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians


Pre-hospital emergency care is a vital and integral component of health systems particularly in the resource constrained countries like Uganda. It can help to minimize deaths, injuries, morbidities, disabilities and trauma caused by the road traffic incidents (RTIs). This study identifies the weaknesses and capacities affecting the pre-hospital emergency care for the victims of RTIs in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (GKMA).

Concepts: Integral, Emergency medical services, Physical trauma, Emergency medicine, Paramedic, Emergency physician, London, Medical emergency