Prehospital emergency life-saving technicians promote the survival of trauma patients: A retrospective cohort study

Takeshi Nishimura, Tsuyoshi Nojima, Hiromichi Naito, Satoshi Ishihara, Shinichi Nakayama, Atsunori Nakao

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Objective: Appropriate decisions by medical technicians at a trauma scene may influence a patient's prognosis. Emergency life-saving technicians (ELSTs) are certified specialists trained with the knowledge to provide advanced techniques for prehospital emergency care in Japan. However, the benefit of treatment by ELSTs compared to basic emergency medical technicians (BEMTs) remains unclear. The aim of this study is to determine whether treatment by ELSTs improves outcomes for trauma patients. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the Japan Trauma Data Bank for the years 2004 to 2017. Patients transferred to the hospital directly from the trauma scene and at least 16 years old were included in this study. The following criteria were used to exclude patients; presence of burns, untreatable severe traumas, unknown ELST attendance, and missing prognosis. We compared two groups (ELST group: patients transported by emergency medical services (EMS) with the presence of at least one ELST; BEMT group: patients transported only by BEMTs). Primary outcome was survival to discharge. Secondary outcomes were the need of definitive treatments defined by surgical intervention, intravascular radiology and blood transfusion at the receiving hospital within 24 h. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to calculate odds ratio (OR) and confidence intervals (CI) adjusted by age, sex, revised trauma score, and Injury severity score (ISS). Results: Overall survival to discharge did not improve significantly (adjusted OR 1.13, 95% CI 0.99–1.30) with ELST intervention. In-hospital blood transfusion was more frequently required in the ELST group (adjusted OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.01–1.20). Emergency interventions (adjusted OR 1.03, 95% CI 0.97–1.09) were not different between the groups. In stratified analysis, the benefit of ELST attendance for survival was observed among patients with ISS <16 (adjusted OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.10–2.15), aged 65 years or older (adjusted OR 1.27, 95% CI 1.07–1.52), during the earlier study period (2004–2008, adjusted OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.14–1.97), and shorter transportation time (adjusted OR 1.21, 95% CI 1.03–1.41). Conclusions: Dispatch systems with ELST should be considered for trauma transports, which may benefit elderly or moderate severity trauma groups, with shorter transportation time conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-222
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • Emergency life-saving technician
  • JTDB
  • Prehospital
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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