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Do poorer neighborhoods experience longer ambulance times?

November 30, 2018

BottomLine: Patients from the poorest neighborhoods who had cardiac arrest had longer total ambulance times than those from the wealthiest neighborhoods.

Why The Research Is Interesting: Emergency medical services (EMS) provide critical care before patients reach the hospital and differences in ambulance times may contribute to disparities in patient outcomes.

What and When: National data from 46 states on 63,600 patients who had cardiac arrest and didn't die on scene and were transported to a hospital

What (Study Measures and Outcomes): Four time measures were examined (response time, on-scene time, transport time and total EMS time) and compared with EMS response time benchmarks for responding to cardiac arrest calls.

How (Study Design): This was an observational study. Researchers weren't intervening for purposes of the study and cannot control all the natural differences that could explain the study findings.
-end-
Authors: Renee Y. Hsia, M.D., M.Sc., University of California, San Francisco, and coauthors

Study Limitations: The registry analyzed for this study wasn't of individual patients so multiple reports associated with the same patient exist; other explanations beyond the variables assessed in this study may have contributed to time disparities; and the findings may not be generalized to other types of time-sensitive EMS calls.

Related Material: The invited commentary, "Income and Ambulance Response Time Inequality--No Simple Explanation, No Simple Fix," by Andrew I. Friedson, Ph.D., University of Colorado Denver, also is available on the For The Media website.

To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.4945)

Editor's Note: The article contains funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

Want to embed a link to this study in your story?: Links will be live at the embargo time http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.5202

About JAMA Network Open:JAMA Network Open is the new online-only open access general medical journal from the JAMA Network. Every Friday, the journal publishes peer-reviewed clinical research and commentary in more than 40 medical and health subject areas. Every article is free online from the day of publication.

JAMA Network Open

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