Ragna Sif Árnadóttir


Ragna Sif Árnadóttir

I have been active in HSSK since 2002, working with a SAR unit, the medical team and the specialist unit, been involved in training and am now vice-chairman of the organisation. I am a doctor by profession, I graduated from the University of Iceland in the spring of 2013, have completed 3-year basic training in emergency medicine and am currently undertaking specialist training in family medicine. As research is part of specialist training in medicine, I found it ideal to combine these two interests of mine, i.e. medicine and search-and-rescue operations, so I reviewed all ICE-SAR call-outs involving injured or ill persons over a two-year period. The objective of the study was to identify whether each case involved accident or illness, whether appropriate treatment was administered on site, and what the outcome was for the persons involved.

ICE-SAR Emergency Response to Accidents and Acute Illness in 2017-2018

Unknown time for now

Synopsis

BACKGROUND. ICE-SAR is a highly active volunteer organisation that responds to approximately 1,200 emergency call-outs each year. Some of these involve rescuing injured or ill persons. There have been no studies of the services provided by ICE-SAR in these circumstances.

OBJECTIVE

The objective of the study was to collect information on medical services provided by ICE-SAR in 2017-2018, identify whether each case involved accident or illness, whether appropriate treatment was administered on site, and what the outcome was for the persons involved.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Information was obtained from the ICE-SAR electronic operations database. The cases where people needed transportation and treatment to a health facility were examined. From Bjargir, the registration system of the Neyðarlínan emergency line, it was possible to obtain personal identity numbers, and final diagnoses and results for the persons in question were obtained from the SAGA system and the Heilsugátt health information system.

RESULTS

The study extended to a total of 189 operations involving 239 people. Most operations were recorded in South Iceland. Just over half of the cases involved men and the average age was 44.4 years. Accidents were much more common than illness, or 86% of the cases. It was most common for people to trip, stumble or fall, resulting in an injury to a lower extremity. Of those who fell ill, cardiac problems were most common. For over 70% of operations, there was no electronic record of the treatment administered on site or what equipment was used.

CONCLUSIONS

SAR teams are regularly required to provide medical services. It is most common for SAR teams to tend to persons who have had an accident, usually involving injury to a lower extremity. Illness tended to by SAR teams usually involves cardiac disorders. Recording of the use of equipment and treatment on site is inaccurate and can be improved.