HEMS: Lessons from Helicopters to Fast Response Cars

This video shows a superb talk by Dr Gareth Davies, Clinical Director of the London HEMS. Topics covered include the role and structure of the service, the risks involved, and how those risks are mitigated with lessons learned from aviation.

This video comes from Risky-Business.com, a collaboration between various UK and USA hospitals and institutions which focuses on risk management and human factors in the medical setting.

Click here to watch the video.

Prehospital Trauma Life Support Course Manual

The Prehospital Trauma Life Support Course (PHTLS) is an education program developed between NAEMT (National Association Of Emergency Medicine Technicians) and the American College of Surgeons.

The course manual is available (somewhat inexplicably, because this manual is for sale online!) from the website of the French PHTLS group:

Chapters are here (and are NOT hosted at aucklandhems.com)

1) PHTLS – Past, present, and future

2) Injury prevention

3) The science and art of prehospital care: Principles, preferences, and critical thinking

4) Kinematics of trauma

5) Scene assessment

6) Patient assessment and management

7) Airway and ventilation

8) Shock

9) Head trauma

10) Spine trauma

11) Thoracic trauma

12) Abdominal trauma

13) Musculoskeletal trauma

14) Burn injuries

15) Paediatric trauma

16) Geriatric trauma

17) Golden principles of prehospital trauma care

18) Disaster management

19) Explosions and weapons of mass destruction

20) Environmental trauma I: Heat and cold

21) Environmental trauma II: Drowning, lightning, diving, and altitude

22) Wilderness trauma care

23) Civilian tactical emergency medical support (TEMS)

24) Glossary

Principles of extrication


While the involvement of doctors and paramedics in extrication of trapped patients from cars is limited to medical rather than demolition aspects, it is important for us to understand the general process of extrication.

In particular, the two broad types of extrication areĀ immediate extrication, which is used when patient demise is imminent, andĀ controlled extraction, which is slower but carries less risk. Which of these two techniques the Fire Service use will depend partly on the medical advice they are given after entrapped patients have been assessed.

This paper provides a nice overview of extrication methods.

The photos below are from the ‘extrication’ section of the Careflight Prehospital Trauma Course, conducted in Auckland in 2012.

Leon Ford – the man to see for all your car demolition needs!

You won’t find these tools at Bunnings! Rusty Clark

Auckland ED Clinical Director, Tim Parke, trials a new device for chest drain insertion