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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 108-114

Setting up and functioning of an Emergency Medicine Department: Lessons learned from a preliminary study


Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care, Medical College, Thrissur, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
K Asish
Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care, Medical College, Thrissur - 680596, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5049.176273

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Background and Aims: Tertiary care teaching hospitals remain referral centres for victims of trauma and mass casualty. Often specialists from various disciplines manage these crowded casualty areas. These age old casualty areas are being replaced, throughout the country by Emergency Medicine Departments (EMDs), presumed to be better planned to confront a crisis. We aimed to gather basic data contributive in setting up of an EMD at a tertiary care teaching hospital from the lessons learned from functioning existent systems. Methods: This is primarily a questionnaire-based descriptive study at tertiary care referral centres across the country, which was purposively selected.The study models included one from a hospital without designated EMD and the other four from hospitals with established EMDs. Direct observation and focus group meetings with experienced informants at these hospitals contributed to the data. In the absence of a validated hospital preparedness assessment scale, comparison was done with regard to quantitative, qualitative and corroborative parameters using descriptive analysis. Results: The EMDs at best practice models were headed by specialist in Emergency Medicine assisted by organised staff, had protocols for managing mass casualty incident (MCI), separate trauma teams, ergonomic use of infrastructure and public education programmes. In this regard, these hospitals seemed well organised to manage MCIs and disasters. Conclusion: The observation may provide a preliminary data useful in setting up an EMD. In the absence of published Indian literature, this may facilitate further research in this direction. Anaesthesiologists, presently an approved Faculty in Emergency Medicine training can provide creative input with regard to its initial organisation and functioning, thus widening our horizons in a country where there is a severe dearth of trained emergency physicians.


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