Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 99-104

Patterns and predictors of emergency medical services utilisation by patients attending the emergency medicine department of a tertiary care hospital in India

1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Emergency Medical Technology, Manipal College of Health Professions, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
William Wilson
Department of Emergency Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal - 576 104, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jets.jets_83_21

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Introduction: Establishment of strong emergency medical services (EMS) systems plays a pivotal role in reducing morbidity and mortality, especially in low and middle-income countries. We aimed to study the EMS utilization and resources available in the ambulances to deliver prehospital care among patients presenting to the Emergency Medicine Department in a tertiary care hospital in south India. Methods: Data regarding prehospital transport practices such as mode of arrival, utilization of EMS, resources available in the ambulance, presenting complaints, triage category, and demographic details were collected and analyzed. Subgroup analysis for time-sensitive complaints was done. Variables were subjected to univariate and multivariate analysis to find the predictors of ambulance usage. Results: The study included 3935 patients. The most common time-sensitive complaints were trauma (17%) and chest pain (11.5%). The most preferred mode of transport was the personal vehicle (45.6%). 29.8% of patients arrived in the ambulance. 97.7% of ambulances were not Advanced Cardiac Life Support equipped and 87.1% did not have an accompanying health care provider. 64.5% inter-hospital patient transfers were through ambulance, 83.8% transfers were unaccompanied. Among patients with time-sensitive complaints, EMS utilization was inadequate (46.8% in acute coronary syndrome, 34% in trauma, and 56.5% in early acute ischemic stroke). Conclusion: There was underutilization of the EMS services. Majority of the ambulances were not adequately equipped/staffed to deliver prehospital interventions. Policies at national level are required to encourage EMS utilization by the public and urgent measures are needed to improve services provided by them.

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