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Factors affecting the preparedness of Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) in disasters: a systematic review.

BMC Emergency Medicine 2023 November 14
BACKGROUND: One of the most significant advantages of Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) in disaster relief efforts is their ability to reach inaccessible or remote areas quickly. This is especially important in the aftermath of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, or hurricanes, where roads may be blocked or damaged, and conventional ground transportation may not be available. There are many factors can affect the performance of Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) in disasters. This study aims to investigate the factors affecting the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) in disasters.

METHODS: The systematic search in Cochran Library, PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, Web of Science, ProQuest, and Google Scholar databases between the first of January in 1975 and the thirty-first of May in 2023. The articles were selected based on the keywords of the authors. At last, the criteria were extracted from the selected ones.

RESULTS: The primary search included 839 articles. After studying their title, abstract, and full context, only nine articles, including two qualitative and seven quantitative ones, were chosen for analysis. After analysis and extracting data from the final studies, the preparation factors were categorized into 6 general classes of human resources: training and practicing, management, instructions and standards, equipment, and structure. Among these, the role of training is highlighted by holding practice and maneuvers to improve and prepare the personnel and manage disasters and incidents.

CONCLUSION: The results obtained from this systematic review provide a total view of the factors affecting the preparation of the air ambulance during disasters and incidents. It is recommended that senior managers and policy makers use the findings of the present study to identify the factors which affect preparedness of HEMS in disasters and take the necessary measures to eliminate to obstacles.

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