Paramedics were not used effectively

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7003.508b (Published 19 August 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:508
  1. Jennifer Mindell,
  2. Kate Ward,
  3. Stuart Ide
  1. Registrar in public health Specialist nurse adviser Southern Derbyshire Health, Derby DE1 2PH
  2. Chief executive Derbyshire Ambulance Service, Derby DE22 3XB

    EDITOR,--U M Guly and colleagues found that ambulance technicians with a few hours' additional training performed basic life support with defibrillation as effectively as highly trained paramedics.1 Their study, however, has several flaws. Allocation to type of ambulance staff was not random. The delay before the arrival of a paramedic as a secondary response, which the authors believe to be detrimental, would not occur if a paramedic was in each frontline ambulance. Our main criticism of the study is that the paramedics were not permitted to use their full training. If the authors wished to prove that cardioactive drugs are ineffective they needed a third arm of the study, in which paramedics were allowed to provide full advanced life support.


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