Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 26-29

Analysis of patients with decompression illness transported via physician-staffed emergency helicopters


Department of Acute Critical Care Medicine, Shizuoka Hospital, Juntendo University, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Yasumasa Oode
Department of Acute Critical Care Medicine, Shizuoka Hospital, Juntendo University
Japan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.145396

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Context: There have been few reports investigating the effects of air transportation on patients with decompression illness (DCI). Aims: To investigate the influence of air transportation on patients with DCI transported via physician-staffed emergency helicopters (HEMS: Emergency medical system of physician-staffed emergency helicopters). Settings and Design: A retrospective medical chart review in a single hospital. Materials and Methods: A medical chart review was retrospectively performed in all patients with DCI transported via HEMS between July 2009 and June 2013. The exclusion criteria included cardiopulmonary arrest on surfacing. Statistical analysis used: The paired Student's t-test. Results: A total of 28 patients were treated as subjects. Male and middle-aged subjects were predominant. The number of patients who suddenly surfaced was 15/28. All patients underwent oxygen therapy during flight, and all but one patient received the administration of lactate Ringer fluid. The subjective symptoms of eight of 28 subjects improved after the flight. The range of all flights under 300 m above sea level. There were no significant differences between the values obtained before and after the flight for Glasgow coma scale, blood pressure, and heart rate. Concerning the SpO 2 , statistically significant improvements were noted after the flight (96.2 ± 0.9% versus 97.3 ± 0.7%). There were no relationships between an improvement in subjective symptoms and the SpO 2 . Conclusion: Improvements in the subjective symptoms and/or SpO 2 of patients with DCI may be observed when the patient is transported via HEMS under flights less than 300 m in height with the administration of oxygen and fluids.


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