Exploration of key stakeholders' preferences for pre-hospital physiologic monitoring by emergency rescue services

Alasdair J. Mort* (Corresponding Author), Gordon F. Rushworth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose: To gather preferences for novel pre-hospital physiologic monitoring technologies from emergency rescue services.
Methods: Qualitative semi-structured interviews and focus groups were conducted with three groups from UK Search and Rescue (SAR); 1) Extractors (e.g. SAR teams), 2) Transporters (personnel primarily responsible for casualty transport), and 3) Treaters (e.g. Emergency Department doctors).
Results: Three themes were defined; SAR casualty management, novel physiologic monitor potential, and physiologic monitor physical properties. Some SAR groups already employed physiologic monitoring but there was no consensus on which monitor(s) to carry or what to monitor and how frequently. Existing monitors also tended to be bulky and heavy and could be unreliable in an unstable environment or if the casualty was cold. Those performing monitoring tended to have only basic first-aid training, and their workload was often high particularly if there was more than one casualty. The potential benefits of employing a novel monitor were strategic and clinical; an opportunity for transmitting data off-scene in order to facilitate monitoring or generate advice (i.e. telemedicine) was also voiced. A range of more intuitive, physical properties was also raised (e.g. small/compact, lightweight).
Conclusions: SAR-specific technology should be simple to operate by those with less medical training, which means that clinical data interpretation and presentation should be carefully considered. It would be beneficial if novel monitors carried out a majority of the interpretation, allowing rescuers to proceed with their priority task of removing the casualty to safety.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-607
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing
Issue number6
Early online date26 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013


  • rescue work
  • emergency medical services
  • patient monitoring
  • medical device design


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