Calling it in: New emergency medical service system may predict caller's fate

Oct 21, 2009

Japanese researchers have developed a computer program which may be able tell from an emergency call if you are about to die. Research published in the open access journal BMC Emergency Medicine shows that a computer algorithm is able to predict the patient's risk of dying at the time of the emergency call.

Kenji Ohshige and a team of researchers from the Yokohama City University School of Medicine in Japan assessed the new Yokohama computer-based triage emergency system from its inception on 1st October 2008 until 31st March 2009, collecting information from over 60,000 emergency calls. For each call, triage information was entered into the computer system, which then categorized according to the severity of their condition. The researchers then compared the computer-estimated threat of dying at the time of the emergency call with the actual patients' condition upon arrival at the hospital emergency department. They found that the algorithm was effective in assessing the life risk of a patient with over 80% sensitivity.

According to Ohshige, "A patient's life threat risk can be quantitatively expressed at the moment of the emergency call with a moderate level of accuracy. The algorithm for estimating a patient's like threat risk should be improved further as more data are collected."

Ambulance response time has risen rapidly with the increased demand for this service in developed countries such as Japan. This emphasises the need to prioritise ambulance responses according to the severity of the patient's condition. "As delayed response time reduces the number of patients who survive from sudden cardiac arrest priority dispatch of ambulances to patients in critical condition has become a matter of importance", says Ohshige.

More information: Evaluation of an algorithm for estimating a patient's life threat risk from an ambulance call, Kenji Ohshige, Chihiro Kawakami, Shunsaku Mizushima, Yoshihiro Moriwaki and Noriyuki Suzuki, BMC (in press), http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcemergmed/

Source: BioMed Central (news : web)

Explore further: The impact of bacteria in our guts

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Doctors' orders lost in translation

Jul 17, 2008

When patients are discharged from the emergency department, their recovery depends on carefully following the doctors' instructions for their post care at home. Yet a vast majority of patients don't fully understand what ...

Calls to doctor's office may delay stroke treatment

Feb 20, 2008

Calling a primary care doctor instead of 9-1-1 at the first sign of a stroke can delay patients from reaching an emergency room during the most critical period — the first three hours after onset of stroke symptoms, researchers ...

CT scans to determine heart disease in the emergency room

Nov 27, 2007

In the future, patients who arrive at a hospital Emergency Department complaining of chest pain may be diagnosed with a sophisticated CT scan. If the diagnosis is negative, the patient can go home—and the total time at ...

Recommended for you

The impact of bacteria in our guts

Aug 22, 2014

The word metabolism gets tossed around a lot, but it means much more than whether you can go back to the buffet for seconds without worrying about your waistline. In fact, metabolism is the set of biochemical ...

Stem cell therapies hold promise, but obstacles remain

Aug 22, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—In an article appearing online today in the journal Science, a group of researchers, including University of Rochester neurologist Steve Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., review the potential and ch ...

New hope in fight against muscular dystrophy

Aug 22, 2014

Research at Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology offers hope to those who suffer from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, an incurable, debilitating disease that cuts young lives short.

Biologists reprogram skin cells to mimic rare disease

Aug 21, 2014

Johns Hopkins stem cell biologists have found a way to reprogram a patient's skin cells into cells that mimic and display many biological features of a rare genetic disorder called familial dysautonomia. ...

User comments : 0