Gui L, Gu S, Lu F, Zhou B, Zhang L
Prehospital Emergency Care in Shanghai: Present and Future.
The Journal of emergency medicine. 2012 Oct 06;
BACKGROUND: In Shanghai, prehospital emergency medical services are provided by the public Ambulance Services. The 60th anniversary of the local Ambulance Services is a good opportunity to provide an overview of the current trends in prehospital emergency medical care in Shanghai. OBJECTIVES: In this report, the features of Shanghai prehospital emergency medical care are described, as well as the Shanghai model of purely prehospital emergency medical care, including the communications and dispatch system, ambulance depots and ambulances, and prehospital rescue teams. Responses to major incidents including public health emergencies and natural disasters are also discussed, with the intention of highlighting future directions in emergency medical services, as well as the influence of international trends in emergency patient care. DISCUSSION: Although Shanghai has the most advanced dispatch system in China (equipped with a Global Positioning System, Global Information System, and more) and can be expanded quickly in case of mass casualty incidents, there is, as yet, no uniform Emergency Medical Service (EMS) dispatching for the entire city. Nor are there certifications, degrees, or special continuing education programs available for EMS dispatchers. Although there are more and more ambulance depots spread all over Shanghai, the city struggles with inadequate prehospital emergency caregivers, because every ambulance has to be staffed with a qualified Emergency Physician, and there are also recruitment problems for ambulance physicians. CONCLUSIONS: Although faced with many challenges, substantial progress is expected in Shanghai prehospital emergency care.