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J R Soc Med. 1991 December; 84(12): 726–727.
PMCID: PMC1295520

Use of the emergency ambulance service to an inner city accident and emergency department--a comparison of general practitioner and '999' calls.


Over a 2-week period a prospective study was undertaken of patients brought to an inner city accident and emergency department by the emergency ambulance service. Criteria for assessing the appropriateness of use of the emergency ambulance service are not well defined and at worst entirely subjective. The author's finding that, of patients attending after a '999' call, 49.8% were discharged with no follow-up suggests that many of these journeys represented inappropriate use of the emergency ambulance service. Close liaison between senior medical staff and the emergency ambulance service may allow more appropriate and effective use of the service, improving patient care in the pre-hospital setting.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Ehrlich BA. Inappropriate use of ambulances. N Engl J Med. 1984 Sep 20;311(12):801–801. [PubMed]
  • Brismar B, Dahlgren BE, Larsson J. Ambulance utilization in Sweden: analysis of emergency ambulance missions in urban and rural areas. Ann Emerg Med. 1984 Nov;13(11):1037–1039. [PubMed]
  • Morris DL, Cross AB. Is the emergency ambulance service abused? Br Med J. 1980 Jul 12;281(6233):121–123. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Gardner GJ. The use and abuse of the emergency ambulance service: some of the factors affecting the decision whether to call an emergency ambulance. Arch Emerg Med. 1990 Jun;7(2):81–89. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Pugh E. What is under a blue flashing light? Community expressed need for the emergency ambulance service. Community Med. 1985 Aug;7(3):198–201. [PubMed]
  • Pons P. Emergency ambulance service systems. J Emerg Med. 1984;1(4):355–356. [PubMed]

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