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May 2, 2011

Study: Paramedics must avoid too much care

By EMS1 Staff

NEW YORK — Researchers have found that paramedics who devote too much care to patients at the scene rather than "scooping and running" may do more harm than good.

The research, detailed in a Reuters Health article, showed that the longer patients stayed in the field the worse their chances of survival, especially for those patients who do not require advanced life support.

The study found that basic life support — CPR and the use of a defibrillator — helped both patients who had been injured and those whose heart had stopped beating, according to the report.

Advanced life support was also found to increase the odds of those whose heart has stopped beating outside the hospital being discharged alive from the hospital by 50 percent, the Reuters article said.

The research showed, however, that high level of support was not found to increase the odds of survival for just injured patients, according to Reuters, and may even reduce them.

The Greek researchers who conducted the study said increased times spent at the scene likely explains the diminished benefit from advanced support, Reuters said.

Click here for a link to the study.