Does the use of ambulance helicopter shorten the transport time for trauma patients in Arvika Hospitals catchment area in comparison with land-based ambulance transport?
Abstract: Introduction: The ambulance helicopter has been an established part of the trauma care in Värmland since 2014. European studies comparing the ambulance helicopters with land-based ambulance often show reduced mortality among patients handled by helicopter. A factor often considered as a risk reducer is shortened transport time. As a step to evaluate trauma care in Swedish rural areas, a study of pre-hospital transport times is required. Aim: The aim of this pilot study was to compare the transport times of the ambulance helicopter with the ground ambulance for trauma patients in the Arvika Hospital catchment area. Methods: Retrospective data from the ambulance register in Värmland and the ambulance helicopter register in Värmland from September to December in 2017 were compared. The transport time of trauma patients from alarm to the start of medical care in hospital was compared between ground- and airborne ambulances. Results: 9 ground ambulance transports were compared with 4 airborne. All helicopter transports in the study were faster than land-based ambulance services with comparable transport distances. No helicopter transport for shorter transports than 134 km was included in the study. Conclusion: In our study, it is shown that for a total transport distance of more than 134 km the transport with helicopter of trauma patients from Arvika Hospital's catchment area to the nearest healthcare facility is faster than by regular ambulance.This study includes only a few transports, and to ensure statistical significance, a larger sample and a more accurate analysis of the complex trauma care are required.
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