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01 September 2019 : Clinical Research  

Polish Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) Response to Stroke: A Five-Year Retrospective Study

Stanisław Paweł Świeżewski12ABCDEFG*, Patryk Rzońca23CDEF, Mariusz Panczyk4CDEF, Piotr Konrad Leszczyński5EF, Mariusz Gujski6DF, Grzegorz Michalak12AE, Adam Fronczak7AG, Robert Gałązkowski12BD

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.915759

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:6547-6553

Abstract

BACKGROUND: A stroke is a serious life-threatening emergency that requires immediate intervention in an appropriate therapeutic center. The aim of this study was to analyze the time of medical procedures at the scene and changes in the state of stroke patients during transport by HEMS in Poland. The presented research is the first nationwide study covering such a large group of stroke patients, for whom aerial support was used in the therapeutic process.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A retrospective cross-sectional study of 48553 missions performed by Polish Medical Air Rescue (PMAR) during the 5-year study period resulted in 3906 stroke patients who, after medical rescue operations by HEMS crew, were transported by helicopters to hospitals.

RESULTS: Helicopters in 3475 (88.97%) cases were utilized as a support for Ground Emergency Medical Service (GEMS). The maximum duration of HEMS operation from activation to patient transfer to the hospital did not exceed 108 min and the median was 60 min. Over 87% of patients with HEMS reported stroke symptoms and arrived at the medical center with the possibility of implementing thrombolytic therapy. The factor that affected the deterioration of patients’ condition was the drawing out of the extent of time spent by the crew at the scene.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of HEMS in Poland in the case of patients with stroke symptoms ensures fast and professional assistance at the site of the medical emergency as well as safe transport to specialized centers, shortening the time of proper treatment implementation.

Keywords: Air Ambulances, Emergency Medical Services, Stroke, Thrombolytic Therapy, Adolescent, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Aircraft, Child, Glasgow Coma Scale, Middle Aged, Poland, Regression Analysis, Retrospective Studies, young adult

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750