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1.  The effect of paramedic training on pre-hospital trauma care (EPPTC-study): a study protocol for a prospective semi-qualitative observational trial 
BMC Medical Education  2014;14:32.
Accidents are the leading cause of death in adults prior to middle age. The care of severely injured patients is an interdisciplinary challenge. Limited evidence is available concerning pre-hospital trauma care training programs and the advantage of such programs for trauma patients. The effect on trauma care procedures or on the safety of emergency crews on the scene is limited; however, there is a high level of experience and expert opinion.
I – Video-recorded case studies are the basis of an assessment tool and checklist being developed to verify the results of programs to train participants in the care of seriously injured patients, also known as “objective structured clinical examination” (OSCE). The timing, completeness and quality of the individual measures are assessed using appropriate scales. The evaluation of team communication and interaction will be analyzed with qualitative methods and quantified and verified by existing instruments (e.g. the Clinical Team Scale). The developed assessment tool is validated by several experts in the fields of trauma care, trauma research and medical education. II a) In a German emergency medical service, the subjective assessment of paramedics of their pre-hospital care of trauma patients is evaluated at three time points, namely before, immediately after and one year after training. b) The effect of a standardized course concept on the quality of documentation in actual field operations is determined based on three items relevant to patient safety before and after the course. c) The assessment tool will be used to assess the effect of a standardized course concept on procedures and team communication in pre-hospital trauma care using scenario-based case studies.
This study explores the effect of training on paramedics. After successful study completion, further multicenter studies are conceivable, which would evaluate emergency-physician staffed teams. The influence on the patients and prehospital measures should be assessed based on a retrospective analysis of the emergency room data.
Trials registration
German Clinical Trials Register, ID DRKS00004713.
PMCID: PMC3930288  PMID: 24528532
Paramedic; Pre-hospital; Trauma; Training; PHTLS; Medical education
3.  Arthroscopy or ultrasound in undergraduate anatomy education: a randomized cross-over controlled trial 
BMC Medical Education  2012;12:85.
The exponential growth of image-based diagnostic and minimally invasive interventions requires a detailed three-dimensional anatomical knowledge and increases the demand towards the undergraduate anatomical curriculum. This randomized controlled trial investigates whether musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSUS) or arthroscopic methods can increase the anatomical knowledge uptake.
Second-year medical students were randomly allocated to three groups. In addition to the compulsory dissection course, the ultrasound group (MSUS) was taught by eight, didactically and professionally trained, experienced student-teachers and the arthroscopy group (ASK) was taught by eight experienced physicians. The control group (CON) acquired the anatomical knowledge only via the dissection course. Exposure (MSUS and ASK) took place in two separate lessons (75 minutes each, shoulder and knee joint) and introduced standard scan planes using a 10-MHz ultrasound system as well as arthroscopy tutorials at a simulator combined with video tutorials. The theoretical anatomic learning outcomes were tested using a multiple-choice questionnaire (MCQ), and after cross-over an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). Differences in student’s perceptions were evaluated using Likert scale-based items.
The ASK-group (n = 70, age 23.4 (20–36) yrs.) performed moderately better in the anatomical MC exam in comparison to the MSUS-group (n = 84, age 24.2 (20–53) yrs.) and the CON-group (n = 88, 22.8 (20–33) yrs.; p = 0.019). After an additional arthroscopy teaching 1% of students failed the MC exam, in contrast to 10% in the MSUS- or CON-group, respectively. The benefit of the ASK module was limited to the shoulder area (p < 0.001). The final examination (OSCE) showed no significant differences between any of the groups with good overall performances. In the evaluation, the students certified the arthroscopic tutorial a greater advantage concerning anatomical skills with higher spatial imagination in comparison to the ultrasound tutorial (p = 0.002; p < 0.001).
The additional implementation of arthroscopy tutorials to the dissection course during the undergraduate anatomy training is profitable and attractive to students with respect to complex joint anatomy. Simultaneous teaching of basic-skills in musculoskeletal ultrasound should be performed by medical experts, but seems to be inferior to the arthroscopic 2D-3D-transformation, and is regarded by students as more difficult to learn. Although arthroscopy and ultrasound teaching do not have a major effect on learning joint anatomy, they have the potency to raise the interest in surgery.
PMCID: PMC3473305  PMID: 22958784
Arthroscopy; Education, Anatomic competence, Randomized controlled trial, Knee joint, Shoulder joint, Students; Medical, Musculoskeletal ultrasound
4.  Evaluation of a newly developed media-supported 4-step approach for basic life support training 
The quality of external chest compressions (ECC) is of primary importance within basic life support (BLS). Recent guidelines delineate the so-called 4“-step approach” for teaching practical skills within resuscitation training guided by a certified instructor. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether a “media-supported 4-step approach” for BLS training leads to equal practical performance compared to the standard 4-step approach.
Materials and methods
After baseline testing, 220 laypersons were either trained using the widely accepted method for resuscitation training (4-step approach) or using a newly created “media-supported 4-step approach”, both of equal duration. In this approach, steps 1 and 2 were ensured via a standardised self-produced podcast, which included all of the information regarding the BLS algorithm and resuscitation skills. Participants were tested on manikins in the same mock cardiac arrest single-rescuer scenario prior to intervention, after one week and after six months with respect to ECC-performance, and participants were surveyed about the approach.
Participants (age 23 ± 11, 69% female) reached comparable practical ECC performances in both groups, with no statistical difference. Even after six months, there was no difference detected in the quality of the initial assessment algorithm or delay concerning initiation of CPR. Overall, at least 99% of the intervention group (n = 99; mean 1.5 ± 0.8; 6-point Likert scale: 1 = completely agree, 6 = completely disagree) agreed that the video provided an adequate introduction to BLS skills.
The “media-supported 4-step approach” leads to comparable practical ECC-performance compared to standard teaching, even with respect to retention of skills. Therefore, this approach could be useful in special educational settings where, for example, instructors’ resources are sparse or large-group sessions have to be prepared.
PMCID: PMC3461483  PMID: 22647148
Basic Life Support (BLS); Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); External chest compressions (ECC); Training; Media; 4-step approach
5.  Feasibility of Prehospital Teleconsultation in Acute Stroke – A Pilot Study in Clinical Routine 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e36796.
Inter-hospital teleconsultation improves stroke care. To transfer this concept into the emergency medical service (EMS), the feasibility and effects of prehospital teleconsultation were investigated.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Teleconsultation enabling audio communication, real-time video streaming, vital data and still picture transmission was conducted between an ambulance and a teleconsultation center. Pre-notification of the hospital was carried out with a 14-item stroke history checklist via e-mail-to-fax. Beside technical assessments possible influences on prehospital and initial in-hospital time intervals, prehospital diagnostic accuracy and the transfer of stroke specific data were investigated by comparing telemedically assisted prehospital care (telemedicine group) with local regular EMS care (control group). All prehospital stroke patients over a 5-month period were included during weekdays (7.30 a.m. –4.00 p.m.). In 3 of 18 missions partial dropouts of the system occurred; neurological co-evaluation via video transmission was conducted in 12 cases. The stroke checklist was transmitted in 14 cases (78%). Telemedicine group (n = 18) vs. control group (n = 47): Prehospital time intervals were comparable, but in both groups the door to brain imaging times were longer than recommended (median 59.5 vs. 57.5 min, p = 0.6447). The prehospital stroke diagnosis was confirmed in 61% vs. 67%, p = 0.8451. Medians of 14 (IQR 9) vs. 5 (IQR 2) stroke specific items were transferred in written form to the in-hospital setting, p<0.0001. In 3 of 10 vs. 5 of 27 patients with cerebral ischemia thrombolytics were administered, p = 0.655.
Teleconsultation was feasible but technical performance and reliability have to be improved. The approach led to better stroke specific information; however, a superiority over regular EMS care was not found and in-hospital time intervals were unacceptably long in both groups. The feasibility of prehospital tele-stroke consultation has future potential to improve emergency care especially when no highly trained personnel are on-scene.
Trial Registration
International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number Register (ISRCTN) ISRCTN83270177 83270177.
PMCID: PMC3356340  PMID: 22629331
6.  Undergraduate medical education in emergency medical care: A nationwide survey at German medical schools 
Since June 2002, revised regulations in Germany have required "Emergency Medical Care" as an interdisciplinary subject, and state that emergency treatment should be of increasing importance within the curriculum. A survey of the current status of undergraduate medical education in emergency medical care establishes the basis for further committee work.
Using a standardized questionnaire, all medical faculties in Germany were asked to answer questions concerning the structure of their curriculum, representation of disciplines, instructors' qualifications, teaching and assessment methods, as well as evaluation procedures.
Data from 35 of the 38 medical schools in Germany were analysed. In 32 of 35 medical faculties, the local Department of Anaesthesiology is responsible for the teaching of emergency medical care; in two faculties, emergency medicine is taught mainly by the Department of Surgery and in another by Internal Medicine. Lectures, seminars and practical training units are scheduled in varying composition at 97% of the locations. Simulation technology is integrated at 60% (n = 21); problem-based learning at 29% (n = 10), e-learning at 3% (n = 1), and internship in ambulance service is mandatory at 11% (n = 4). In terms of assessment methods, multiple-choice exams (15 to 70 questions) are favoured (89%, n = 31), partially supplemented by open questions (31%, n = 11). Some faculties also perform single practical tests (43%, n = 15), objective structured clinical examination (OSCE; 29%, n = 10) or oral examinations (17%, n = 6).
Emergency Medical Care in undergraduate medical education in Germany has a practical orientation, but is very inconsistently structured. The innovative options of simulation technology or state-of-the-art assessment methods are not consistently utilized. Therefore, an exchange of experiences and concepts between faculties and disciplines should be promoted to guarantee a standard level of education in emergency medical care.
PMCID: PMC2689168  PMID: 19435518

Results 1-6 (6)