Published: 06-05-2013 00:00 | Updated: 26-11-2013 10:33

Emergency care begins at the Dispatch centre

[PRESS INVITATION 30 April 2013] Alarm receiving centres have long been a hidden and partly neglected part of the healthcare system. Now, however, more and more research is being done on how alarm centre operations can be organised to save more lives.

Katarina Bohm

Calls to 112 and the alarm receiving centre are often the first contact people have with the healthcare services in the event of an emergency. What they are then told can have a decisive effect on health, life and death.

"By tradition this part of the healthcare system has often been neglected by researchers," says co-arranger of the conference, Dr Katarina Bohm, nurse and medical scientist at Karolinska Institutet and Södersjukhuset. "But now we can see that research is moving slowly but surely back down the chain, from hospital to Emergency department, and the ambulance and on to the alarm receiving centre."

There are therefore a large number of questions that research needs to answer. Experiences from the USA, Europe and Scandinavia will be presented at the conference by international speakers, and researchers will be able to meet professionals from health authorities and alarm centres to discuss such matters as time for advice and action, condition identification, decision-making support and the optimal competence for alarm centre operators.

"The operators only have the symptoms to go on. They have no visuals and can't feel or smell the caller. They can't even be sure of talking to the person who needs help. It's a very tense and critical situation in which communication has to be clear and concise."

Many of the calls are urgent and one study has shown that a higher level of competence and experience amongst alarm centre operators can double a person's chances of survival after a cardiac arrest. On . OnOn the other hand, they can only identify around half the number of stroke patients. Blood poisoning (sepsis) is also a condition for which more research on the role of the alarm receiving centre could improve outcomes.

Research in this field has been very much in the news recently. For instance, the report of the government commission on the emergency services is due at the end of April.

Reporters are welcome to attend the conference:

Medical dispatching 2013 - Seeking for the golden standard

When: 14 May 12 pm - 5 pm and 15 May 9 am - 12 pm

Where: Lecture Hall Ihre, Södersjukhuset, Sjukhusbacken 10, Stockholm.

For further information, contact: