Monday, 17 June 2019

Mobile phones proven to save lives in emergencies

Emergency mobilePatients are more likely to survive when emergency services are called from a mobile phone rather than a landline, a new study published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine has found.


“Our study suggests that the use of mobile phones to alert emergency services in a life-threatening situation is associated with improved mortality rates at the scene in patients with medical problems and a lower likelihood of admission to the emergency department,” the authors said.


The researchers analysed patient records from two county hospitals in the UK from 1995-2006 for all emergency dispatches to immediately life-threatening (Code Red) events and compared the patients outcomes based on whether a mobile phone or landline was used to call for help.


They found around 137 more lives are saved per 100,000 patients when emergency services are called from a mobile phone in the critical moments after the onset of an acute illness or injury compared to a landline phone.


“Overall, the probability of death at the scene for Code Red calls was greater if the ambulance services were contacted via a landline compared to contact via a mobile phone (0.59% landline vs. 0.45% mobile phone); in a hypothetical population of 100,000 patients, this is equivalent to 588 and 451 deaths at the scene, respectively,” the study said.


The researchers said the proliferation of mobile phone users in the community meant emergency services could be notified quicker in the event of an accident improving their response time.


“The use of mobile phones has the advantage of immediacy of access, in particular in situations such as road traffic incidents, outdoor accidents, and injuries as well as incidents occurring at rural locations, where access to landlines is unlikely to be readily available,” the study said.


The authors noted a limitation of their study was the inability to directly measure the difference in time between the incident and the call to emergency services because it was not reliably recorded in the data.


Previous research on the use of mobile phones in emergencies by Professor Simon Chapman of the University of Sydney found one in four Australian mobile phone users had used their phone to report a dangerous situation and this benefit of mobile phone use should be taken in to consideration when looking at any potential negative effects.


“Any debate about the net health impact of mobile phone proliferation must balance possible negative effects (cancer, driving incidents) with the benefits from what appears to be their widespread use in rapidly reporting emergencies and in numerous acts of often health-relevant `cellular Samaritanism',” the study concluded.

Bookmark and Share