Okay – I admit to loving this paper, partly because it blows away the dogma of short scene times and ‘scoop & run’, and the oft-quoted but obnoxious assertion that the only pre-hospital fluid of benefit is gasoline.
A massive database of 3656 sick trauma patients (SBP < 90, 10>resp rate>29, GCS≤12, or advanced airway intervention), transported by 146 EMS agencies to 51 hospitals, was analysed to identify any association between mortality and emergency medical services (EMS) timings (activation, response, on-scene, transport, and total time). Overall mortality in this group was 22%.
There was no significant association between time and mortality for any EMS interval: activation (odds ratio [OR] 1.00; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.95 to 1.05), response (OR 1.00; 95% CI 9.97 to 1.04), on-scene (OR 1.00; 95% CI 0.99 to 1.01), transport (OR 1.00; 95% CI 0.98 to 1.01), or total EMS time (OR 1.00; 95% CI 0.99 to 1.01).
The authors state: “In this study, we were unable to support the contention that shorter out-of-hospital times… improve survival among injured adults with field-based physiologic abnormality… Our findings are consistent with those of previous studies that similarly have failed to demonstrate a relationship between out-of-hospital time and outcome using different patient populations, trauma and EMS systems, regions, data sources, and confounders“
Emergency Medical Services Intervals and Survival in Trauma: Assessment of the “Golden Hour” in a North American Prospective Cohort
Ann Emerg Med. 2010 Mar;55(3):235-246