University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

By the same authors


  • Alan Cowley
  • Mark Durham
  • Duncan Aldred
  • Richard Crabb
  • Paul Crouch
  • Adam Heywood
  • Andy McBride
  • Julia Williams
  • Richard Lyon
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Original languageEnglish
Article number86
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalScandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2019


Background: A reduction in pre-hospital scene time for patients with penetrating trauma is associated with reduced mortality, when combined with appropriate hospital triage. This study investigated the relationship between presence of pre-hospital enhanced care teams (ECT) (Critical Care Paramedics (CCPS) or Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS)), on the scene time and triage compliance, of penetrating trauma patients in a UK ambulance service. The primary outcome was whether scene time reduces when an ECT is present. A secondary outcome was whether the presence of an ECT improved compliance with the trust's Major Trauma Decision Tree (MTDT). Methods: All suspected penetrating trauma incidents involving a patient's torso were identified from the Trust's computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system between 31st March 2017 and 1st April 2018. Only patients who sustained central penetrating trauma were included. Any incidents involving firearms were excluded due to the prolonged times that can be involved when waiting for specialist police units. Data relevant to scene time for each eligible incident were retrieved, along with the presence or absence of an ECT. The results were analysed to identify trends in the scene times and compliance with the MTDT. Results: One hundred seventy-one patients met the inclusion criteria, with 165 having complete data. The presence of an ECT improved the median on-scene time in central stabbing by 38% (29m50s vs. 19m0s, p = 0.03). The compliance with the trust's MTDT increased dramatically when an ECT is present (81% vs. 37%, odds ratio 7.59, 95% CI, 3.70-15.37, p < 0.0001). Conclusions: The presence of an ECT at a central stabbing incident significantly improved the scene time and triage compliance with a MTDT. Ambulance services should consider routine activation of ECTs to such incidents, with subsequent service evaluation to monitor patient outcomes. Ambulance services should continue to strive to reduce scene times in the context of central penetrating trauma.


© The Author(s). 2019 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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