Emergency air medical services for patients with head injury

Shin Han Tsai, Wan Lin Chen, Che Ming Yang, Li Hua Lu, Ming Fu Chiang, Long Jin Chi, Wen Ta Chiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Patients suffering head injury in remote islands of Taiwan, which have a shortage of manpower and facilities, depend on EAMS for prompt and definitive treatment. Emergency air medical services are becoming an increasingly important issue in improving the quality of primary care and avoiding medicolegal problems. The purpose of this study was to investigate the characteristics of patients with head injury and use of EAMS. Methods: We reviewed all patients, especially head injury transported by air ambulance from a remote island, Kinmen (400 km from Taiwan Main Island), from January 2001 to December 2003. Data were collected with regard to demographics, disease classification, mechanism of injury, severity of head injury, ventilator use, and mortality rate. Results: A total of 215 patients were transferred, of whom 57 (27%) had head injury. The mean age of patients was 48.6 ± 23.8 years. Males accounted for 72% of the cases (male/female ratio, 2.6:1). Motor-vehicle accidents were the most common mechanism of injury (68%). There were 21 (37%), 20 (35%), and 16 (28%) patients in the minor, moderate, and severe head-injury groups, respectively. Nineteen patients (33%) received mechanical ventilation. The overall mortality rate was 14 % (8/57). In the severe head-injury group, the mortality rate was 44% (7/16). Conclusions: The higher incidence of head injury (26.5%) in EAMS than in ground transportation (19.8%) suggests that preflight assessment and in-flight management of patients conducted by an experienced escort team following guidelines for head injury in EAMS are a very important issue.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSurgical Neurology
Volume66
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006

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Emergency Medical Services
Craniocerebral Trauma
Air
Islands
Taiwan
Mortality
Air Ambulances
Quality of Health Care
Wounds and Injuries
Motor Vehicles
Mechanical Ventilators
Artificial Respiration
Accidents
Primary Health Care
Demography
Guidelines
Incidence

Keywords

  • Emergency air medical services
  • Head injury
  • Remote island
  • Ventilator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery

Cite this

Emergency air medical services for patients with head injury. / Tsai, Shin Han; Chen, Wan Lin; Yang, Che Ming; Lu, Li Hua; Chiang, Ming Fu; Chi, Long Jin; Chiu, Wen Ta.

In: Surgical Neurology, Vol. 66, No. SUPPL. 2, 11.2006.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tsai, Shin Han ; Chen, Wan Lin ; Yang, Che Ming ; Lu, Li Hua ; Chiang, Ming Fu ; Chi, Long Jin ; Chiu, Wen Ta. / Emergency air medical services for patients with head injury. In: Surgical Neurology. 2006 ; Vol. 66, No. SUPPL. 2.
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abstract = "Background: Patients suffering head injury in remote islands of Taiwan, which have a shortage of manpower and facilities, depend on EAMS for prompt and definitive treatment. Emergency air medical services are becoming an increasingly important issue in improving the quality of primary care and avoiding medicolegal problems. The purpose of this study was to investigate the characteristics of patients with head injury and use of EAMS. Methods: We reviewed all patients, especially head injury transported by air ambulance from a remote island, Kinmen (400 km from Taiwan Main Island), from January 2001 to December 2003. Data were collected with regard to demographics, disease classification, mechanism of injury, severity of head injury, ventilator use, and mortality rate. Results: A total of 215 patients were transferred, of whom 57 (27{\%}) had head injury. The mean age of patients was 48.6 ± 23.8 years. Males accounted for 72{\%} of the cases (male/female ratio, 2.6:1). Motor-vehicle accidents were the most common mechanism of injury (68{\%}). There were 21 (37{\%}), 20 (35{\%}), and 16 (28{\%}) patients in the minor, moderate, and severe head-injury groups, respectively. Nineteen patients (33{\%}) received mechanical ventilation. The overall mortality rate was 14 {\%} (8/57). In the severe head-injury group, the mortality rate was 44{\%} (7/16). Conclusions: The higher incidence of head injury (26.5{\%}) in EAMS than in ground transportation (19.8{\%}) suggests that preflight assessment and in-flight management of patients conducted by an experienced escort team following guidelines for head injury in EAMS are a very important issue.",
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