International Cooperation in EMS
Over the past two decades or so, a number of international projects have demonstrated the benefits of global cooperation in EMS. In the area of research, the PAROS and PATOS projects, each involving over a dozen Asian nations, and the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium, involving EMS systems from the US and Canada, have been remarkably successful at generating meaningful EMS research. The PAROS project, focusing on sudden cardiac arrest, has already generated nearly 50 research publications on topics as diverse as dispatcher-assisted CPR, public access defibrillation, pediatric cardiac arrest, serum biomarkers, vertical access, and time-motion studies. The ROC similarly has an impressive list of publications mainly focused on sudden cardiac arrest, but also examining topics such as trauma, research ethics, and airway management. EMS researchers are taking sabbaticals in other countries, to expand their knowledge of research methodologies and promote international EMS efforts. The creation of the European EMS network and the European EMS Championship, along with similar EMS competitions at other major conferences, have brought friendly rivalries to teams from many nations. Educational courses for medical directors have also been held at a number of international conferences, giving EMS physicians a chance to learn from each other and share ideas and experiences. This session will review recent progress in international cooperation in EMS, the gains that the field of prehospital medicine has seen as a result of these efforts, and future directions we can take to continue to advance the care of patients in the out-of-hospital setting.