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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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The Role of a Physician-Staffed Helicopter in Emergency Care of Patients on Isolated Danish Islands

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Emergency calls may lead to the dispatch of either ground ambulances or helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS). For residents on isolated islands, the HEMS can reduce the time to hospital admission and lead to improved outcomes. This study investigated the emergency care for residents on isolated islands with a focus on the role of a physician-staffed helicopter. The data were obtained from Danish national registries and databases. We included data on emergency calls from isolated islands from the time of emergency call to discharge. We identified 1130 emergency calls from which 775 patients were registered with a hospital admission. Of these, 41% were transported by the HEMS and 36% by a ground ambulance. The median time to admission was 83 min (IQR 66-104) and 90 min (IQR 45-144) for the HEMS and ground ambulance, respectively (p = 0.26). The overall 30-day mortality was 6.2% (95% CI: 4.6-8.1%), and 37% of all the patients were admitted to the hospital with an unspecified diagnosis. The emergency calls from isolated islands led to the dispatch of the HEMS in 41% of the cases. The use of the HEMS did not significantly reduce the time to admission but was used in a greater proportion of patients with an acute cardiac disease (66%) or stroke (67%).

Original languageEnglish
Article number1446
JournalHealthcare (Basel, Switzerland)
Volume9
Issue number11
ISSN2227-9032
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2021

ID: 69402826