Hong Kong Med J 2000;6:283-7 | Number 3, September 2000
SEMINAR PAPERS--EMERGENCY MEDICINE
Prehospital care in Hong Kong
CB Lo, KK Lai, KP Mak
Fire Services Ambulance Command Training School, 1 On Shan Lane, Ma On Shan, New Territories, Hong Kong
A quick and efficient prehospital emergency response depends on immediate ambulance dispatch, patient assessment, triage, and transport to hospital. During 1999, the Ambulance Command of the Hong Kong Fire Services Department responded to 484,923 calls, which corresponds to 1329 calls each day. Cooperation between the Fire Services Department and the Hospital Authority exists at the levels of professional training of emergency medical personnel, quality assurance, and a coordinated disaster response. In response to the incident at the Hong Kong International Airport in the summer of 1999, when an aircraft overturned during landing, the pre-set quota system was implemented to send patients to designated accident and emergency departments. Furthermore, the 'first crew at the scene' model has been adopted, whereby the command is established and triage process started by the first ambulance crew members to reach the scene. The development of emergency protocols should be accompanied by good field-to-hospital and interhospital communication, the upgrading of decision-making skills, a good monitoring and auditing structure, and commitment to training and skills maintenance.
Key words: Decision making; Disaster planning; Emergency medical service communication systems; Quality assurance, health care; Transportation of patients
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