Comparison Overview of Prehospital Errors Involving Road Traffic Fatalities in Victoria, Australia

This article reports on a study conducted to identify and interpret prehospital error rate trends associated with road traffic fatalities during a 10-year period of the Consultative Committee on Road Traffic Fatalities (CCRTF) reports in Victoria, Australia. Six CCRTF reports contained prehospital data for errors associated with road traffic fatalities. The authors found that, from 1992 to 1998, system errors decreased. However, during this same time period, management, technical, and diagnostic errors increased. There was also a marked jump in system, technique, and diagnosis errors from 1998 to 2001–2003. However, management errors declined in this latter timeframe. The authors note that the increase in errors in the 1998 to 2001–2003 timeframe coincides with the introduction of advanced life support (ALS) for Victorian paramedics in 2000. The number of preventable deaths decreased from 1992 to 1998, however, there was an increase from 1999 onwards, coinciding with the introduction of the state trauma system and ALS for paramedics. The authors hypothesize that the increase in preventable deaths may have been due to the new knowledge and skill set for the paramedics, which took their mind off of the recognition of the "sick" trauma patient while they were concentrating more on the management of the trauma patient, using their newly acquired skills. The authors also call for a more efficient, accurate, and timely method for the identification and evaluation of prehospital errors than the use of retrospective, panel review, preventable death studies.


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  • Accession Number: 01148147
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 31 2009 10:01AM