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eISSN: 1643-3750

Polish Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) Response to Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA): A Retrospective Study

Patryk Rzońca, Robert Gałązkowski, Mariusz Panczyk, Joanna Gotlib

Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:6053-6058

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.908962

Available online:

Published: 2018-08-31

BACKGROUND: Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is a significant clinical challenge for emergency medical systems worldwide. The first step towards ensuring patient survival is achieving return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). The purpose of the study was to analyze the cases of OHCA to which HEMS teams were dispatched.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of all HEMS calls in Poland for cases of OHCA between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2016. Data were obtained from medical records maintained by the Polish HEMS.
RESULTS: The total number of responses to cases of OHCA was 2447. Of this total, 308 cases were excluded from the study as the patient was found not to have cardiac arrest or was confirmed dead. ROSC was achieved in 1119 cases, including 335 cases where ROSC occurred before the arrival of the HEMS team. In the group studied, ROSC was achieved more commonly in women, in patients younger than age 40 years, in CA cases of cardiac origin, and in cases with shockable rhythms (p<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The study results are consistent with global trends in terms of OHCA incidence and the effectiveness of CPR performed on scene. The study also demonstrates that HEMS dispatch to OHCA cases is justified both as a means of providing assistance to EMS teams on scene and as the first choice.

Keywords: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Emergency Medical Services, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest