Trauma patients who suddenly deteriorate in the care of paramedics: an Australian case

Investigations into the trauma patient who suddenly deteriorates while in the care of paramedics, either on scene or during transport to hospital, is limited. The objective of the study was to determine the incidence, physiological criteria for sudden deterioration, and outcome of patients who suddenly deteriorated during paramedic care. Methods: this is a secondary data analysis of an existing prehospital-based trauma dataset. The sudden deterioration dataset had been created previously by linking twelve months (2002) of an Australian Ambulance Service's trauma data with a State Trauma Registry. The sudden deterioration dataset was interrogated using predefined criteria to identify patients who suddenly deteriorated in the presence of paramedics, either on scene or enroute to hospital. Results: there were 239 patients who met the criteria for sudden deterioration, amounting to 0.45% of the total number of trauma patients transported or seen by the Victorian Ambulance Services for 2002. Four patients who suddenly deteriorated did not meet the criteria for prehospital potential major trauma. Conclusion: this study suggests that the incidence of trauma patients suddenly deteriorating in the presence of paramedics is very low and that increasing the total out-of-hospital time to get these patients to an appropriate level trauma service does not adversely affect their mortality outcome.

Subscribe to get full access to the Journal of Paramedic Practice

Thank you for vising the Journal of Paramedic Practice and reading our archive of expert clinical content. If you would like to read more from the only journal dedicated to those working in emergency care, you can start your subscription today for just £48.

CPD Focus

Reading the Journal of Paramedic Practice counts towards your professional development

Develop your career

We provide professional information dedicated to paramedics covering training, education and jobs

Stay informed

Get the latest clinical information to ensure you are aware of the latest think and best practice in paramedicne

Subscribe now

Already registered? - Sign in here

Keep up to date with Journal of Paramedic Practice!

Sign up to Journal of Paramedic Practice’s regular newsletters and keep up-to-date with the very latest clinical research and CPD we publish each month.