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The Tanzanian Trauma patients' Prehospital Experience: A Qualitative Interview-based Study.

Kuzma, K., Lim, A. G., Kepha, B., Nalitolela, N. E. and Reynolds, T. A. (2015) The Tanzanian Trauma patients' Prehospital Experience: A Qualitative Interview-based Study. BMJ open, 5 (4). e006921. ISSN 2044-6055

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We sought to characterise the prehospital experience of Tanzanian trauma patients, and identify barriers and facilitators to implement community-based emergency medical systems (EMS). Our study was conducted in the emergency department of an urban national referral hospital in Tanzania. A convenience sample of 34 adult trauma patients, or surrogate family members, presenting or referred to an urban referral emergency department in Tanzania for treatment of injury, participated in the study. Participation in semistructured, iteratively developed interviews until saturation of responses was reached. A grounded theory-based approach to qualitative analysis was used to identify recurrent themes. We characterised numerous deficiencies within the existing clinic-to-hospital referral network, including missed/delayed diagnoses, limited management capabilities at pre-referral facilities and interfacility transfer delays. Potential barriers to EMS implementation include patient financial limitations and lack of insurance, limited public infrastructure and resources, and the credibility of potential first aid responders. Potential facilitators of EMS include communities' tendency to pool resources, individuals' trust of other community members to be first aid responders, and faith in community leaders to organise EMS response. Participants expressed a strong desire to learn first aid. The composite themes generated by the data suggest that there are myriad structural, financial, institutional and cultural barriers to the implementation of a formal prehospital system. However, our analysis also revealed potential facilitators to a first-responder system that takes advantage of close-knit local communities and the trust of recognised leaders in society. The results suggest favourable acceptability for community-based response by trained lay people. There is significant opportunity for care improvements with short trainings and low-cost supply planning. Further research looking at the effects of delay on outcomes in this population is needed.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Trauma patients, Prehospital experience, Emergency medical systems (EMS), Hospita, Tanzania
Subjects: Health Systems > Surveillance, monitoring & evaluation
Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD)
Divisions: Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS)
Depositing User: Mr Joseph Madata
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2016 08:06
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2016 08:06

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