Health Emergency – Roma 2010

“Health Emergency: a resource and an opportunity for everyone. International models in comparison”

Health emergency was an event in Rome in June 2010. The organization of pre-hospital emergency care represents one of the main elements to evaluate the quality and efficiency of a public health service taking into account, of course, the various components involved therein (public institutions, volunteers associations, private companies).

Worldwide, in order to face health emergencies, many different systems have been planned, using procedures that integrate various components and with special care for institutional, geographical, socio-economical and cultural distinctive features.

All emergency systems are set considering the criteria of organizational uniformity, rationalization of resources, quality, qualification of the people involved and integration.
On the first day, after the Institutional greetings, the opening lecture presented the organization of the Italian medical system, as far as health emergency is concerned, and its state of the art.
Emergency medicine as a medical specialty and as a service in pre-hospital settings has come a long way since its tentative beginnings in the 19th century in various countries, (such as the USA and UK), from which it has spread worldwide. Its development and the strategies adopted have varied from to country for many reasons but chiefly ones such as available resources, cultural tradition/philosophies and environmental conditions (eg. degree of urbanisation vs rural), leading different systems to be in place as considered appropriate. But the dedicated aim is the same, which is how best, within available resources, to provide out-of-hospital acute medical care and/or transport to definitive care, to patients with illnesses and injuries which the patient, or the medical practitioner, believes constitutes a medical emergency. In terms of strategies for emergency care essentially two can discerned which are  in European countries, (like Germany, France etc) different compared to the practices in North America, UK and Australia. In the former, the approach is to provide a physician on the scene that is a ‘hands on approach’ or sometimes called a ‘stay and play’ in which pre-hospital emergency clinics, mobile resuscitation units etc. are a key element as opposed to a paramedic approach, (overseen by a physician), where specially qualified paramedics working with physicians are used for medical emergencies in the latter mentioned countries. Depending on the emergency circumstances, a different skill level can thus be applied to ensure life support; defined as basic, advanced, pre-hospital physician care and intermediate. Within this background, the understanding of state of the art systems used within these approaches is vital to achieve the common goal of saving life in an emergency as will now be illustrated in the topics covered by this round table that is; Cardiac Arrest, Acute Coronary Syndrome, Stroke and Trauma.

A round table with representatives of the Institutions involved in emergency activities and citizens’ associations followed in order to evaluate their perception of the utility of the emergency service and underline its needs.

On the second day some international realities were described by the members in charge of territory emergency systems. The realities were subdivided into three types according to their territory dimension and their demography: megalopolis, metropolitan areas, wide territories.
On The third day the health emergency networks and its components, as well as the experiences regarding maxi-emergency situations, were discussed.

The congress will end with the drafting of a consensus document, agreed by all participants,
During the congress we had a chance to see exhibition on Means of rescue (land, sea and air rescue), simulators, logistic and emergency facilities, books and sector publications, innovative technologies and drugs, EMS software and hardware, telemedicine facilities.

The exhibition aims to focus on those innovations that support operators in the development of emergency activities on the territory at an international level.

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