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ARTICLE
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 29-33

Pre-hospital care in Nigeria : a country without emergency medical services


Department of Surgery, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital Ilorin, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
B A Solagberu
Department of Surgery, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital Ilorin, Nigeria

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 19562917

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OBJECTIVES: Efficient pre-hospital transport (emergency medical services, EMS) is associated with improved outcomes in road traffic injuries (RTI). This study aims to discover possible interventions in the existing mode of transport. METHODS: Persons bringing all RTI victims to the Emergency room (ER) over a 4-year period and the injury arrival intervals were noted prospectively. FINDINGS: There were 2,624 patients (1,886 males and 738 females); only 2,046 (78%) had clear documentations of three categories of persons bringing victims to ER: Relatives (REL, 1,081, 52.83%); Police/Federal Road Safety Corps (P/F, 827, 40.42%) and Bystanders (BS, 138, 6.74%). No intervention was provided during transport: Within 1 hour, 986 victims (48.2% of 2,046) arrived ERbrought by P/F (448, 21.9%), REL (439, 21.5% of 2,046), and BS (99, 4.8%). These figures, in each instance, represent 40.6 % of total victims brought by REL; 54.2% by P/F and 71.7% by BS. However, after 6 hours, REL were the main active group as they brought 94.5% (359 of 380) patients of this period. In 91 victims (4.4%) the injury arrival time was not captured. CONCLUSION: This study has identified three groups of persons involved in pre-hospital transport with nearly 50% getting to ER within 1 hour without any intervention or prior notification of ER. Absence of EMS obscures pre-hospital death records. The P/F responsible for only 40% of transport should be trained and equipped to offer basic trauma life support (BTLS). The REL and BS (both responsible for 60% of transport) represent a pool of volunteers for BTLS to be trained.


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