University of Hertfordshire


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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalScandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2020


Introduction:Pre-hospital enhanced care teams like Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) are often dispatched to major trauma patients, including patients with traumatic brain injuries and those with major haemorrhage. For these patients, minimizing the time to definitive care is vital. The aim of this study was to determine whether increased awareness of elapsed on scene time produces a relevant time performance improvement for major trauma patients attended by HEMS, and weather introducing such a timer was feasible and acceptable to clinicians. Methods: We performed a prospective cohort study of all single casualty traumatic incidents attended by Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (AAKSS) between 15 October 2016 and 23 May 2017 to test if introduction of a prompting scene timer within the service resulted in a reduction in pre-hospital scene times. Results: The majority of the patients attended were male (74%) and sustained blunt trauma (92%). Overall, median scene time was 25.5 [IQR16.3] minutes before introduction of the scene timer and 23.0 [11.0] minutes after introduction, p = 0.13). Scene times for patients with a GCS < 8 and for patients requiring prehospital anaesthesia were significantly lower after introduction of the timer (28 [IQR 14] vs 25 [1], p = 0.017 and 34 [IQR 13] vs 28 [IQR11] minutes, p = 0.007 respectively). The majority of clinicians felt the timer made them more aware of passing time (91%) but that this had not made a difference to scene time (62%) or their practice (57%). Conclusion: Audible scene timers may have the potential to reduce pre-hospital scene time for certain single casualty trauma patients treated by a HEMS team, particularly for those patients needing pre-hospital anaesthesia. Regular use of on-scene timers may improve outcomes by reducing time to definitive care for certain subgroups of trauma patients

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