PrehospitalResuscitationSMACCTraumaDebate: Prehospital Doctors add little value in Trauma

Debate: Prehospital Doctors add little value in Trauma

Anthony Holley and Marietjie ‘MJ’ Slabbert debate the value of prehospital doctors in trauma.

Anthony argues that doctors in the prehospital setting add little value.

He does so with the upmost respect for prehospital doctors and having worked in this setting himself. He makes the point that across the globe, the employment of doctors in the prehospital setting is a rarity.

Working in this environment is diverse and every situation encountered requires a different skillset. This presents a logistical challenge.

Anthony continues to discuss the evidence, or lack thereof, in this space. He raises the point of competing interests from paramedics, flight nurses and doctors themselves.

This leads to apples being compared to oranges most of the time.

Anthony goes on to suggest all the advanced clinical interventions that are necessary in prehospital situations can be competently undertaken by paramedics.

MJ argues for the negative.

In doing so, she concedes that the evidence base for prehospital medicine is scarce.

This is due to inherent biases, the difficulty of gathering data and the issues with methodology. However, MJ believes that care provided outside of the hospital should be of the same level as care received in hospital.

This provides a seamless patient journey from the prehospital setting into the hospital and improving the chain of survival.

Furthermore, MJ posits that prehospital doctors not only improve care of patients outside of the hospital, but care for those in the hospital and clinics too.

Prehospital physicians add value wherever they practise. They bring leadership, knowledge, additional skills, and training as well as innovation and collaboration.

Tune in as Anthony and MJ debate over the value of prehospital doctors in trauma.

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MJ Slabbert

MJ Slabbert is an Anesthesiologist & Intensivist.


Anthony Holley

Intensivist and Emergency Physician